This PAC Created a Last-Minute Anti-Trump Ad on a Shoestring Budget

The spot has more than 3 million views on Twitter one day after posting

a woman reading resumes
Zabeth Russell is an actress, improviser and writer based in Los Angeles. Win America Back PAC

If Donald Trump’s resume landed on your desk, would you hire him?

That’s the question posed in a last-minute anti-Trump ad for the Win America Back political action committee. The 90-second ad went live on Twitter Wednesday afternoon and has already garnered more than 3 million views on the platform, including a retweet and shoutout from director Judd Apatow.

With $2,000 left in its coffers and less than two weeks before the election, the Win America Back PAC’s founders—Hollywood film producers Micho Rutare, Benjamin Rosenblatt and Michael Silver—approached veteran commercial advertisers and filmmakers Gabriel Miller and Andrew Laurich about creating the spot.

After a brainstorming call, Miller and Laurich settled on an idea that framed the election as a job interview. Then they started calling in favors and recruiting friends, including actress Zabeth Russell, who plays the starring role as HR lady in the spot, to participate for free.

“It was a no-budget commercial shot on the fly,” said Russell. “I have an improv comedy background, and I knew that Andrew would let me have some fun with it, and he did.”

The spot centers on a friendly, upbeat hiring manager who sits down with a job applicant to go through his resume. At first, she seems impressed by the applicant’s real estate history and television experience, but her positivity starts to falter. After reading about 26 accusations of sexual assault, she reaches for more hand sanitizer.

The screen goes dark, and words flash across the screen asking viewers, “Would you hire Trump?” and urging them to vote on Nov. 3. Before it ends, the spot hits on one more point: the hiring manager pulls out the applicant’s letter of recommendation only to find that it’s in Russian.

“The idea sort of tapped into people’s sense of injustice that Trump doesn’t deserve to be where he is,” said Miller. “If he was anyone else, he wouldn’t even get past the initial screening.”

Rosenblatt, Rutare and Silver founded the PAC in August with a mission to “make cinematic political ads with a sense of empathy,” the organization told Adweek.

Win America Back’s website expands on that mission, saying, “We see every Trump supporter or undecided voter as a loved one who is in danger and needs our help.” While most political messaging amounts to “a negative assault on your senses,” the group aims to create “stories of empathy, of tragedy and redemption, fighting misinformation with meaning.”

The PAC launched another, more apocalyptic ad earlier this month, though Miller and Laurich weren’t involved in that production.

In that spot, a grandfather sits with his granddaughter on a park bench. When he says a number, the girl lists the associated president, but the game ends at 45. When the girl asks her grandfather, “Did you vote for Trump?” the old man is too distraught to answer. The camera then pans out to reveal a smog-filled sky and a cityscape full of Trump towers.

Win America Back PAC is expecting to release one more ad before Election Day on Tuesday.

@klundster Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.