Since its launch in December 2019, Reel 360 has documented the rise of The Lincoln Project‘s biting, sarcastic and powerful political ads against President Donald Trump. The conservative group was started by George Conway, the husband of President Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, and Reed Galen. The agency has no clients, a media strategy that targets an audience of one, and may very well end up closing up shop by Election Day.
But it’s today’s hottest ad agency in the country, and perhaps the prototype for future advertising agencies. Here is a sampling of recent work:
Reed Galen joins adman Ellis Verdi of New York agency DeVito/Verdi on the podcast, “Selling A President 2020” this week to discuss how his so-called “Pirate Ship” of creatives has had such success in getting inside the president’s head and helping to tilt the election toward Joe Biden.
“The Lincoln Project is perhaps showing the advertising world that maybe we’re going about it the wrong way today,” says Verdi in the podcast. “They could be the perfect prototype of the next generation of ad agencies.”
The latest episode of the podcast can be heard here:
With devastating social media posts and long-length commercials aimed directly at the president’s psyche, The Lincoln Project has succeeded in irritating the Commander-In-Chief, while providing air cover for the Biden team.
Citing The Lincoln Project’s stinging creative, quick-strike media buys, clarity of mission and mastery of myriad communications platforms, Verdi sees the SuperPac cum ad agency as the type of ad agency that is likely to define the industry moving forward.
The high praise from Verdi carries weight, as his acclaimed agency has been one of the most lauded creative shops over the past three decades, garnering virtually creative award in the industry. DeVito/Verdi has also applied its talents in the political arena, serving as lead agency for numerous gubernatorial, mayoral and 527 campaigns, and most notably as the agency behind Hillary Clinton’s successful Senate run.
In the interview, Galen credits his team’s ability to “pierce (Trump’s) bubble of unreality” by attacking him where he is most vulnerable and self-conscious. The work, Galen says, is deemed successful if it is able to elicit a visceral reaction from the President. “I think a lot of folks were just looking for somebody to stand up and fight,” said Galen.
The “Selling A President 2020” podcast hosted by Ellis Verdi takes a look at advertising’s outsized role in today’s presidential election, and how the proper “packaging” of the presidential candidates has become essential for victory.