On Wednesday, Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign released a new ad titled “Sound Familiar?” The 60-second spot closed with a clip of O’Malley at the podium, saying, “… How many senseless acts of violence do we have to endure as a people before we stand up to the congressional lobbyists of the National Rifle Association? How many more Americans have to die?” The crowd broke out in the sort of thunderous applause you’d typically associate with the winning touchdown at a championship game.
But wait a second: The clip in the ad came from O’Malley’s speech at the 2015 Conference of Mayors—not exactly an arena event. Given that fewer than 300 mayors RSVP’d, we were skeptical, so we compared the ad with actual event footage. While there was a smattering of polite applause in the original, it’s very clear that the audience response in the ad was greatly enhanced.