W+K Implores Republicans to Save Party by Becoming ‘1-Day Democrats’

By Erik Oster 

Wieden + Kennedy have a message for Republicans before election day: save your party and vote for Hillary Clinton.

The agency realizes that may be a tough pill to swallow, but this is Donald “No Puppet, You’re The Puppet” Trump we’re talking about here. “1-Day Democrats” is addressed to longtime GOP voters, opening with text describing the 2016 presidential election as “exhausting” for everyone but a “nightmare” for the now-fractured Republican party in particular.

“We have no Republican candidate,” it claims, following it up with an angry Donald emoji and adding that he thinks he can save the economy by simply printing more money. (W+K is not alone in asserting that Trump is not a true Republican. Former Minnesota Republican senator Norm Coleman wrote, “I won’t vote for Donald Trump because of who he isn’t. He isn’t a Republican. He isn’t a conservative. He isn’t a truth teller.”)

That, of course, is far from the only ridiculous, stupid or offensive thing the GOP candidate, whose aides have taken his Twitter account away from, has said. W+K goes on to cite Trump bragging about committing sexual assault on tape, his alleged ties to Vladimir Putin, ethically dubious business practices, refusal to condemn the KKK and more. It draws the conclusion that abstaining is not an option and the only way to save the GOP is to vote against the party’s presidential nominee and for Hillary Clinton.

We’re not sure if the tactic can sway Republican voters away from voting down party lines and potentially electing an unqualified candidate, but it’s notable for taking a different approach than any of the other anti-Trump spots agencies have produced (and there have been quite a few of them, including W+K’s own “Donald Trump’s BS” and parody ads for the flash revival of Spy magazine). Specifically targeting Republicans, it makes the valid argument that a Trump presidency wouldn’t just be disastrous for the American people, but for the Republican party as well.

In doing so the spot targets those who have not been swayed by ethical arguments, such as those voiced by Mitt Romney, who told The Wall Street Journal, “I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”

But will the argument be enough to sway any pragmatic GOP-loyal conservatives who have reservations about the party’s candidate but still plan to vote for him? While such voters may find Clinton a bitter pill to swallow, they would find themselves in good company. In addition to Romney, the 41st president of the United States, George H.W. Bush, will be voting for Clinton and his son may be as well. Former secretary of state Colin Powell will also be casting a vote for Hillary, as well as former South Dakota senator Larry Pressler and Republican U.S. representative from Connecticut Chris Shays, who says he backs Clinton “with a strong conviction that she will be a good president.”

Actually, W+K may have missed an opportunity to mention such Republican endorsements, as it underscores the argument that it’s what is in the best interest of the GOP — arguably more so than a list of Trump’s faults and gaffes, of which most are undoubtedly well aware of.