Earlier this month the Clinton campaign released a new TV ad, called “Sacrifice,” in which they show clips of Donald Trump talking negatively about veterans. The 30 second ad is entirely made up of Donald Trump’s own words spoken by himself while different veterans and family members watch him speak through the television.
This clear attack ad focuses on the veterans–many of which who were wounded–while Trump’s own voice is in the background. It is clear that this ad attempts to contrast the negative things Trump said about veterans, including Sen. John McCain, with older veterans themselves. It takes on a clear incumbency approach in the sense that it creates a contrast of “do you want to keep things as they are and honor veterans, or go with this wild card who doesn’t honor them?”
The clear target audience for this ad is not only every American who may be offended by such words, but also moderate Republicans. The Clinton campaign has been seeking Republican support from those who refuse to vote for Trump, and this is a clear appeal to their national security/military issue bias.
This ad is obviously trying to create the image that Hillary Clinton is a steady leader who will honor veterans. She is someone who would not just go after them and attack them–most politicians wouldn’t. That is what this ad is trying to say: most actual politicians and leaders would not attack military families or veterans. This is an important image to create because it de-legitimatizes Trump’s ability to be Commander-in-Chief.
Overall, this is a very effect of new-style of advertising: using the opponents own voice while showing the attacked group watching him on television.