Donald Trump may be sitting on the TV ad sidelines, but his campaign is investing in online video. One recent video ad features Mr. Trump vowing solidarity with police officers shot in Dallas and promising to "Make America Safe Again," a twist on his "Make America Great Again" slogan. Another video uses footage of FBI Director James Comey to reinforce the message that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton lied when she said she did not send classified information over her personal email server while Secretary of State.
But Ms. Clinton is not the only rival in the new Trump campaign ads. He's added a new target, too: Bernie Sanders. Display ads that appeared online a few days after the Vermont senator endorsed the former secretary of state for president declare, "Bernie Sells Out."
According to digital ad tracker Moat Pro, the campaign is also drumming up donations with digital ads promising donors a place for their names on the jumbotron at the Republican National Convention, which began today in Cleveland.
The Trump campaign ad that could have the most impact is the minute-long video juxtaposing footage of Ms. Clinton saying she did not send classified information via her personal email server with Mr. Comey testifying that she did.
It has been seen running as an ad on just one website, The American Mirror, according to Moat. Recent articles on the right-wing site report threats and intimidation against Donald Trump supporters, while others link the Black Lives Matter movement to recent killings of police. The main author of the site is Kyle Olson, a conservative commentator and self-proclaimed fan of leftie heroes Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Johnny Cash.
Another video ad that Moat data shows ran briefly from July 9 to 11 on The Hollywood Reporter's website and TheConservativeTreehouse.com features the presumptive Republican nominee assuming a presidential air. Sitting at a desk, he speaks calmly about the shootings of police officers in Dallas:
"The brutal attack on our police force is an attack on our country and an attack on our families. We must stand in solidarity with law enforcement which we must remember is the force between civilization and total chaos."
Also acknowledging that too many people live in violence and poverty, Mr. Trump concludes, "We will make America safe again."
Additional new digital display ads spotted by Moat take aim at Bernie Sanders with the tagline, "Bernie Sells Out." An apparent response to his endorsement of Ms. Clinton, the ads seem to be an attempt to woo Sanders supporters to the Trump campaign by implying that the real estate tycoon is the only remaining choice after Mr. Sanders disappointed them by endorsing Ms. Clinton. The ads have been spotted on sites including Drudge Report and Wired, according to Moat.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request to comment for this story.