Mayor's Race 2019: TV Ads (Finally) Begin Airing In Nashville | Nashville Public Radio

Mayor's Race 2019: TV Ads (Finally) Begin Airing In Nashville

Jun 6, 2019

Nashville’s candidates for mayor took their time getting TV ads on the air. But this week, ad buys have suddenly jumped — with three candidates making their moves.

First on air — albeit with a modest $1,800 for a few early-morning spots on WKRN — was retired professor Carol Swain. She has two rotating, 15-second spots that critique Metro spending.

“How in the world is the city broke?” she asks in one.

A much bigger buy comes from At-Large Councilman John Cooper. According to filings with the Federal Communications Commission, he’s put close to $30,000 behind a 30-second ad that’s up on two local stations.

The councilman narrates what he calls a “crossroads” for Nashville and its priorities. The ad appears in some prime spots, like during “Wheel of Fortune” and WKRN’s nighttime newscast.

Still, this advertising doesn’t come close to the millions spent on the 2015 mayor’s race — when candidates were up with messaging a couple months sooner. There were even jingles involved, followed by a sequence of attack ads once the contest reached a runoff.

So far this time, it’s mostly heartfelt pianos and inspirational strings, and a smorgasbord of familiar visuals: the skyline, trendy murals, and handshakes on front stoops.

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, who so far is doing only online ads, has a 2-minute spot that details his upbringing in Lebanon and emphasizes the future he wants for his three children.

“I’ll lead with the lessons I learned on the farm going up: hard work, cooperation, and helping our neighbors,” Clemmons says.

Current Mayor David Briley has his first TV ad scheduled to appear Thursday. An FCC filing pegs it at just over $12,000 for a run on News Channel 5.

The spot opens with a series of black-and-white still images overlaid with news headlines that cast Briley as a stabilizing leader after political turmoil.

“A new path for Nashville isn’t about getting bigger; it’s about all of us living better,” Briley says.

View the latest ads:

Editor’s Note: This story was updated Thursday morning to include the newly available ad spending amount for David Briley.