YouTube video

Ad: “Dad”

Candidate: Jim Gingrich

Transcript: “I’m Jim Gingrich and this is my dad. He’s 91 years old and taught me how to drive a hard bargain — like when he paid me three cents to do a load of laundry. Dad’s a PowerPoint whiz and he wanted to help me make the case against spending more than $100 million on a NASCAR racetrack. 

[Dad starts showing slides] 

Just like the stadium deal, it’s bad for Nashville. As mayor, I would use money like that to build affordable housing, hire more police and invest in our schools. Anything more Dad?”

[Dad clicks one last slide: “NOT RELATED TO NEWT GINGRICH”]

Analysis: After opposing the Titans’ stadium plan, Gingrich has now gone all-in against a significant refurbishment of the Fairgrounds Speedway. He would put the funds toward other priorities, notably police and schools. The money doesn’t work like that — the deal is based on revenue bonds tied to lease payments and taxes generated by the track — but the spot is effective in showing what Gingrich’s priorities would be as mayor. And his 91-year-old dad is a star, combining with an up-tempo score to create an energetic commercial. It’s the work of Putnam Partners, who have produced ads for six different presidential campaigns, including Presidents Obama and Biden. There’s a high amount of polish and both the editing and foley work (for the sound effects) are top-notch. One local political strategist called it “Classic Putnam. Probably the best ad of any candidate thus far.”

Where can you see it: Broadcast TV, cable and streaming

Steve is a three-decade veteran of newspapers, working around the country at places like the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune before returning home to Nashville in 2011 to edit The City Paper and Nashville...