#GOPHipster Ads Try to Reach Young People With Gas-Price Populism. Oops.

How embarrassing. The Republican National Committee’s outreach to young potential voters misses the mark so badly they’re just proving the point they were hoping to disprove: The party is absolutely clueless about young people.

Exhibit A: the whiny young #GOPHipster in this RNC ad (the party calls it the “Create Your American Dream” campaign but we’re gonna go with the group on this):

In this brilliantly acted ad, young hepcat “Scott Greenberg” refuses to make eye contact (we’d applaud him for keeping his eyes on the road, except he’s stopped at a gas pump) as he recites his memorized lines.

“I shouldn’t have to check my bank account before I fill up my car,” he gripes to no one in particular, “but soooo much of my paycheck ends up going to gas.” That’s all to say he’s in favor of the GOP’s “all of the above energy policy.”

“I mean, increased domestic energy production doesn’t necessarily lower fuel prices in the U.S. because it is a worldwide market, and ‘all of the above’ is actually the energy policy of both parties,” wrote Alex Pareene in Salon yesterday, “but, you know, ‘whatever,’ as the millennials say. ‘LOL,’ they sext one another. ‘Let’s frack some shale gas, YOLO.’”

What the Republican marketing team doesn’t seem to get is that moaning about gas prices is soooo middle-aged. You know what’s really hot among the kids these days? Not driving. The percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds with drivers licenses is at its lowest point since 1963. Miles driven by people aged 16 to 34 dropped 23 percent between 2001 and 2009. The share of new cars bought by 18- to 34-year-olds fell 30 percent from 2007 to 2012. Even the car companies know the jig is up (though they’re still at the “bargaining” stage).

Yet driver solidarity is how the Republican National Committee plans to reconnect with the young voters they’ve lost.

The RNC doubled down on Mr. Tortoiseshell Glasses as the perfect embodiment of the millennial Republican by putting him in another crabby ad (82 thumbs-up on YouTube; 722 thumbs-down) at a gas station — the same gas station, judging by the look of the pump.

Astute Twitter user @ggreeneva noted that Scott is driving an Audi in this ad. And @wexler identified the gas station he frequents as the one of Washington, DC’s most expensive: the notorious Capitol Hill Exxon.

“Maybe this is the guy the @GOP listened to when they sliced commuter benefit for transit users & not Audi drivers,” mused @kmthurman.

“Strange that #GOPHipster doesn’t mention that raising the gas tax would be key step to bolstering US’s future,” notes @popespeed.

A key step to bolstering the GOP’s future with young people might be to fire their PR firm and talk to real young people. They might learn a thing or two about how Americans are getting around these days.

  • Alex

    I love that the comments on the YouTube page are about 95% ridicule. #GOPfail

  • Perhaps “Scott Greenberg” was doing the commerical ironically. Cause that’d be soooooo hipster.

  • Eric McClure

    The Onion is becoming less and less essential every day. SMH at the prospect that the GOP, with or without hipsters, could well retake the Senate and keep the House in November.

  • No Ur Fax


  • Thought Leader

    What a hoot!

  • Greg

    I saw this on another blog and apparently that is real name and he does PR in Washington, DC. Everyone I know who lives in Washington avoids driving if they can help it!

  • Last of the Blackberries

    Stop whining, shave and get a job.

  • Larry Higgs

    Dude, its the commodities market and its investors which sets the price of crude oil, which gas is refined from. So blame the “free market” you love and big oil.

  • Mishellie

    He does… PR.

    And didn’t think this might be slightly tone deaf?

  • GC

    If you’re tired of buying gas, why not take one of those trains that are running beneath your feet?

  • Social_werkk

    Not that I’d ever vote for a GOP candidate, but I’m a millennial who would much rather not have to depend on a car to get around.

  • spencerfleury

    I’m a Gen Xer who would also much rather not have to depend on a car to get around. But the Republicans are definitely not the party to bring about *that* version of reality.

  • Bolwerk

    New meaning to the phrase “hipster douche.” :-

  • Captain America!

    if he used the exhuast from his car to heat his home he would save *so* much money !

  • yodasws

    “I’m a Republican because my friends need a paycheck, not empty promises.” But he failed to realise that Republican policies led to our current shitty economy and continue to benefit the wealthy “job creators” who aren’t creating any extra jobs…

  • R.A. Stewart

    That last is truly the sad part, sad and frightening.

  • friendly universe

    Republican think tank version of what young people look like, so funny.
    Maybe they got a hold of a copy of “Rent” and thought that’s what’s happening
    today. lol I guess this is why Republicans in Texas have made it so
    you can vote with a gun license as your i.d., but not a student i.d.

  • Jimmy Lin

    Get a job your dirty taker. If you can’t afford gas, that means you are not working hard enough.

    Sincerely, the Republican Party and FOX News-


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