Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Tuesday released a set of nationwide ads featuring only California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic ticket’s vice-presidential candidate, ahead of her face off with Vice President Mike Pence at the debate in Salt Lake City.
It’s her second solo rollout of nationwide paid ads on the Biden-Harris campaign, and will air on television, radio and digital and highlights the historic nature of her nomination as the first Black and South Asian woman on a major party’s presidential ticket
The ads, viewed first by CNN, are aimed at engaging Black voters – particularly in battleground states – in an effort to elevate participation in the campaign. And they’re part of the ticket’s weekly seven-figure investment in outreach in battleground states in an effort to provide additional “information and messaging” around the vice presidential debate about Harris’ candidacy, according to a campaign aide.
The ads will be released nationwide with an emphasis on Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Georgia, among other states, the aide said.
One 30-second spot, called “Mirrors,” is a nod to the barrier breaking nature of Harris’ nomination as the first Black and South Asian woman on a major party’s presidential ticket. It shows an elementary school aged Black girl watching footage of Harris’ selection on her couch with a female narrator calling it a “historic decision.”
The small girl reacts in complete awe and then the video shows her on stage, with the message “On November 3rd, vote for her” in bold white letters appearing over her.
“Our time is now,” the young girl declares.
It’s akin to a message both Harris and Biden have sought to magnify – the positive impact that the representation of the nation’s first Black and South Asian woman on a major party’s presidential ticket provides to young women of color.
A day after the announcement, Biden framed his selection as providing little Black and Brown girls who often feel undervalued overlooked to have the ability to see “themselves for the first time in a new way. As the stuff of presidents and vice presidents.”
And the campaign has focused on deploying Harris to engage Black voters in-person campaign trips like a Sister-to-Sister mobilization event in Philadelphia that prioritized issues facing Black women in America, to Shop Talks on Seven Mile Road in Detroit, an event with a narrow focal point on issues plaguing Black men – which was set up as an outdoor barbershop.
Harris has also sought out interviews with Black audiences like Essence, the Grio and an appearance on a highly anticipated Instagram “Verzuz” battle between iconic Black musicians Brandy and Monica.
“Senator Harris’ Vice President candidacy is inspirational and it’s also a clear contrast in leadership and what’s at stake,” Kamau Marshall, director of strategic communications said to CNN in a statement. “A Biden Harris administration will not only build back better – but it will undoubtedly champion the safety, economic prosperity, and physical and mental well-being of all Americans, not just a select few.”
In another 30-second ad titled “On the Ballot,” shows Harris describing the flagship “Build Back Better” plan amongst footage of her interacting with voters while wearing a mask on the campaign trail.
“This election is about building this country back better, and that’s what Joe and I will do,” Harris says over behind-the-scenes footage of her greeting people with an elbow bump in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, leaning over to talk to small children in Fresno, California, and posing with a group of Black students at her alma mater Howard University in Washington, DC.
And the third and longest spot, called “Intergenerational,” does not feature Harris but a Black mother describing her families fight for civil rights alongside her daughter and holding her toddler-aged granddaughter. Alveta, the mother, describes seeing a burning cross on her front lawn as a young girl and thinking “there’s a big candle in the yard,” too young to understand its symbolism and the hate, she says.
“And now we’re having to fight for civil rights all over again,” Alveta said, tying the need to get things “back on track” with a vote for the Biden-Harris ticket.
These comes just after the Biden-Harris ticket released a digital ad last week on President Donald Trump’s refusal to denounce White supremacists and the Proud Boys during the first presidential debate, which was also targeted towards Black voters.
The Biden-Harris campaign entered the fall with a stockpile of cash – more than $450 million in cash reserves in late September. A week before, the campaign made a record investment of $65 million in paid media advertising.