A beaming Bernie Sanders approaches a diminutive Danny DeVito, arms stretched to greet the Senator from Vermont in a hallway. The two embrace, all smiles. "Hey Danny, thanks so much," says Mr. Sanders, hunching to hug the comedy legend. "Alright, let's go kill 'em," says Mr. Sanders.
"Let's go kill 'em," repeats Mr. DeVito.
The backstage scene launches a video ad that the Sanders camp began running in ad slots on Twitter on Monday, according to ad intelligence platform Moat Pro. The campaign also posted the video on Twitter on Sunday, the day the star of "Cheers" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" introduced the candidate at a rally in St. Louis, dropping a crate behind the podium and kicking it into place before perching himself on it.
All the talk right now is about who will win big in Ohio and Florida, two key swing states voting in primaries today. But the Bernie Sanders camp is angling for record turnout in Missouri and North Carolina, and aiming for an upset in Hillary Clinton's home state of Illinois.
The DeVito video ad is a departure from the meticulously crafted spots the Sanders campaign has garnered attention for, most notably "America," which features small town homes, hay bales, coffee shops, a young girl walking with her father, and the iconic Simon and Garfunkel song by the same name.
It also shows a willingness to put advertising budget behind something far less produced than the videos the campaign has used to appeal to groups including Hispanics and African-Americans, such as one featuring Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer in Staten Island in 2014.
Like that emotionally gripping video, another featuring Chicago school principal Troy LaRaviere published on March 12 is clearly aimed at African-Americans. Titled "America Beyond," the 2-minute film tells the story of a family that struggled to survive on Chicago's South side, and the importance of education in Mr. LaRaviere's life. It's not clear whether the Sanders camp is buying ad time for that video.
In addition to the DeVito ad on Twitter, the Sanders campaign began running digital display ads yesterday suggesting that voters in Missouri and North Carolina could break turnout records in their states. "What happened in Michigan was nothing short of extraordinary. Will North Carolina break turnout records?" asked an ad running on WRAL.com, a news site serving Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville. The ad also ran on right-leaning news sites including Breitbart and Drudge Report, according to MOAT data.
A similar get-out-the-vote ad spotted on KansasCity.com by Moat Pro asked the same of Missouri voters, and both let voters click to find their polling location.