Sharing the Story of the ‘Angriest Mayor in America’

Sharing the Story of the ‘Angriest Mayor in America’

As part of the celebration of 35 years of MessageMakers, we're telling the stories of 35 great projects throughout our history. This is one of them.

Mayor Virg Bernero gives a speechIn 2009, Virg Bernero sought re-election as mayor of Lansing, Michigan. To help convey his message, Virg Bernero contacted MessageMakers to develop a promotional video to build support for Bernero’s re-election campaign by sharing his ardent support for the auto industry and what it does for Michigan.

Mayor Bernero feels very strongly about keeping the manufacturing of cars in the U.S. and especially keeping the automotive industry in Michigan. During the debate over the federal bailout of the U.S. auto industry in the fall of 2008, Bernero had been featured on national news programs and been given the title “The Angriest Mayor in America” for his passionate comments.

“For his mayoral campaign [advertisement], we had the opportunity to pull from footage of him appearing on the nightly news but also around here in the city, some stock footage in our library, and we were able to create a spot out of that to help communicate his message,” explains MessageMakers senior video producer Tom Lietz.

Luckily, MessageMakers already had footage of the assembly line process at General Motors, which cut a lot of time down for compiling the video for Virg Bernero. Videographers had filmed the process for a speculative project about the experience of living in Lansing.

“It actually worked out well that we got to use our footage from the GM plant in his commercial for his campaign,” says Rick Weaver, the factory videographer. “It was cool to get some use for videos I shot for someone’s campaign.”

The promotional video for Virg Bernero accomplished exactly what our mayor wanted, conveying his message on the importance of the auto industry and his vibrant support of autoworkers. The greater results indicate success, considering Mayor Bernero won re-election.