Screen shot from 2023 mayoral campaign ad from Jim Gingrich titled "Single Thing"
YouTube video

Ad: “Single Thing”

Candidate: Jim Gingrich

Transcript: “I’m Jim Gingrich and adults can learn a lot by just talking to children. [talks to classroom] I want you to go draw something for me: What is the one single thing that Nashville needs?” 

[Kids voices] “More kindness.” “Safer schools.” “Fewer knives.” “Be nice to people.” “Less killing.” “Nashville needs food.”

[Gingrich] “As Nashville mayor, I would invest in after-school programs to keep kids on the right path. And hire more police to keep them safe. Nothing is more important.”

Analysis: While Gingrich has flooded streaming and digital spaces with a series of 15-second spots, his latest 30-second spot is a combination of education and safety appeals. Talking to a group of elementary school-aged children, Gingrich asks them to show him what Nashville needs, using markers and construction paper. The answers are brutal, showing that kids are well aware of many of the problems that plague a city that’s been growing as fast as Nashville. The final kid responds with “Nashville needs food,” a gutting notion. In many ways, Gingrich’s ads have been the most polished of anything in this election cycle and are almost always capable of eliciting a response out of viewers. His campaign has been a sharp critique of some of Nashville’s problems. The question around this ad and some others is whether they’ve done enough to make the case that Gingrich in particular is the right one to expand after-school programs or put more cops in the streets. 

Where people can see it: Broadcast, streaming, online.

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...