With the election season in full swing, every candidate is looking for some kind of edge --anything that will separate them from the competition. Almost all will turn to consultants and media specialists to get their message out on TV and social media outlets. If you’re a conservative Republican often that means taking a trek to Columbus, Ohio to visit with one of the best political ad men in the country -- the brash, brand guru, Rex Elsass.
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He is the man behind some of the most memorable political ads that have hit the air, including Congressman Sean Duffy’s “Bringing the Axe to Washington.” Of his company, The Strategy Group, Elsass says, “We are responsible for introducing people to the electorate. I think there’s not anything more important than an introduction.”
Some of his clients, such as Ohio Auditor, Dave Yost, have been with Elsass for years, which could be attributed to Elsass’ deep commitment to those he represents. Yost explains, “He understands people. He looks into your soul, your heart and has a way of pulling out some nugget that kind of sums it all up.”
A key component of Elsass’ winning strategy is picking people that he believes in, which is, by and large, almost always conservative Republicans. According to Elsass, The Strategy Group represented over 300 candidates across the country in the last election cycle, which resulted in a 90% win record. He is currently working with Ohio Governor and GOP candidate John Kasich.
Elsass’ company grossed $150 million in 2014. Most of this money is made through commissions collected on the media placement of their ads. But since the company places its own ads – a rarity in this business - it allows them to run ads quickly and to respond to negative ads almost immediately… while also cutting out the middle man.
“We’re a part of something bigger than ourselves. And it’s that kind of passion, it’s that kind of commitment that really makes us, I think, the best at what we do in this country.”