Who's happy with the direction of Trump's America? These scary people, says new ad

Ted Pauly out of Furlined helmed the spot conceived by agency creatives for Future Forward USA Action

Published On
Jul 20, 2018

Editor's Pick

A classic children's song takes on a dark tone in a new ad for the nonprofit advocacy group Future Forward USA Action that started airing on TV today. As kids are heard singing "If You're Happy and You Know It," sinister slow-mo scenes of mega-rich country clubbers, white supremacists and Vladimir Putin disciples are shown being, well, ridiculously pleased. They're all apparently celebrating their good fortune and delight at being alive at a time when the United States is led by a president who has shamelessly coddled all three of those constituencies.

An on-screen tagline closes out of the ad: "These people are happy with the direction of the country."

The spot debuted on TV this morning with a placement on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." It was directed by Ted Pauly out of Furlined, with Ben Davies and Jay Wakefield executive producing. Davies describes the spot as a "passion project" piece created by a group of "ad guys trying to save their souls" by opposing the Trump agenda. The creative directors were Tim Gordon, Nick Kaplan and Jon Fromowitz, whose day jobs include creative leadership positions at Droga5 and 72andSunny.

In a statement, the team behind the spot says, "The creative idea was to show in a hyperbolic manner three of the main groups most enjoying our current president and how out-of-touch with everyday Americans they really are. In the end, even if you are mildly supportive of Trump and his policies, this ad asks, 'Who are you aligning yourself with?'"

The spot's director Pauly is an MTV vet who's gone on to shoot ads for big brands including Mountain Dew and Snickers, but was also behind Barton F. Graf's award-winning "Climate Name Change" political campaign for 350 Action, which suggested that hurricanes be named after politicians who refuse to recognize climate change.


Jul 20, 2018
Steve Choo
My Active Driveway
Executive Producer:
Angela Lupo
Senior Producer:
Kevin Breheny
Tim Masick
Color Grade:
Company 3
Executive Producer:
Sasha Awn
Evan Mangiamele
Keith Reynaud
Audio Mix:
Heard City
Kristin Kuraishi
Ian Jeffreys
Andrew Sherman
Butter Music and Sound
Patrick Coleman
Lena Lobel
Exec Producer:
Sarah Roebuck
Final Cut Editorial
Director of Photography:
Corey Walter
Dustin Highbridge
Exec Producer:
Jay Wakefield
Exec Producer:
Ben Davies
Diane McArter
Ted Pauly
Josh Morse
Creative Director:
Tim Gordon
Creative Director:
Nick Kaplan
Creative Director:
Jon Fromowitz
Director of Operations:
Reed Shaw
Chauncey McLean
Future Forward USA
Ted Pauly

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