College GOP ad campaign compares governor candidates to wedding dresses

By Carly Simpson | 10/12/14 7:20pm


GVL / Courtesy - College Republican National Committee

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Subhead: College GOP ad campaign compares governor candidates to wedding dresses

By Carly Simpson

The College Republican National Committee recently released an online ad comparing Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Democratic challenger Mark Schauer to shopping for wedding dresses. The ad is based off the TLC television show “Say Yes to the Dress.”

In the ad, the bride is a recent college graduate. While trying on wedding dresses, she describes the Rick Snyder gown as a “trusted brand” with “new ideas that won’t break your budget.” The bride’s mother, however, prefers the Mark Schauer, which she describes as “overpriced and a little outdated.”

The sales associate then goes on to say the Mark Schauer comes with additional costs including higher taxes, double digit unemployment and increased government spending.

The ad is receiving mixed reviews. Some find it insulting, saying women don’t just think about marriage and dresses.

“I thought that the ad campaign was pandering at best, and offensive at worst,” said Marysa Sutton, treasurer for Grand Valley State University’s College Democrats. “As a college-aged female, I can assure you that most, if not all, of my female friends do not spend their time daydreaming about wedding dresses. It wasn't clever, and I wish that choosing a candidate was as easy as choosing a wedding dress.”

Others believe the ad is a creative way to reach out to college-age voters, a group which historically has a low voter turnout. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, an estimated 24 percent of all eligible young people ages 18-29 voted in the 2010 midterms. In the 2008 election, young voters only made up about 19 percent of the electorate.

“A big push for us this cycle is to get out and encourage our friends to vote because that’s such a large portion of the population not being represented,” said Sarah Cauzillo, the director of membership retention for GVSU’s College Republicans. “A lot of times it’s because college kids are not necessarily as informed, or don’t care much, because they think politics don’t affect them.

“I think (the ad) was a good push because we need to target people who don’t normally vote and ask ourselves what we can do to attract them, and what we can do to relate to them on their level.”

Cauzillo believes college students are less likely to vote because they are busy with everyday life activities such as classes and clubs.

“There’s just so much going on,” she said. “We’re stuck here on campus in our bubble so we don’t necessarily think ‘oh is social security going to affect me,’ or ‘what’s happening in Iraq?’ That’s so far away from where we are here; you don’t necessarily feel its individual effects.”

Sutton agrees, adding, “ College students often don't feel the immediate impacts of policies, or aren't aware of them. There is a startling number of people who are not registered to vote that will undoubtedly feel the impacts of student loan legislation, among other things.”

Snyder is just one of several candidates featured in the series of ads. Similar versions of the ad have been released in Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Colorado and Arkansas. To view the ad, visit

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