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A Vietnamese Immigrant Works Hard to Achieve the American Dream and Then Runs for Congress. What a Great Story…

If you ask a political consultant what it takes for a first-time candidate to get elected, most of them would probably say “Money.” Or maybe “Connections.” Of course, those consultants can be pretty cynical.

I think it boils down to things like “Personality,” “Hard Work,” and a “Compelling Life Story.”

Those are the qualities that make Ethan Pham such an engaging candidate.

Introducing Ethan

When Ethan called about doing a political video to launch his campaign, we didn’t know each other. One of my clients had given him my name. I told Ethan, to develop the storyline, I needed to learn more about him.

Then he emailed me a few facts about his life. I realized immediately Ethan’s story is pretty amazing.

Ethan immigrated to America when he was only 11 years old. He had worked most of his life—through high school, college and law school. When his parents lost their jobs during the recession, Ethan bought a chicken farm in North Georgia.

As an assistant city attorney, he provided legal counsel to local governments. Then Ethan started a law firm with his wife.


Visual Storytelling

To visualize that story, we traveled to North Georgia and filmed the chicken farm. We filmed all around District 7, at City Hall, the Court House, and various City Parks. And of course, we filmed Ethan engaging with people—lots of people—representing the backgrounds and diverse ethnicities of his future constituents.

To underscore his message about jobs and economic development, we showed both blue and white collar workers, in construction, healthcare, and high tech.

$50,000 in 48 Hours

The video was completed on schedule, along with his website and Facebook page. Everything went live the day he announced. Donations began appearing almost immediately, both online and in person.

He raised $50,000 the first two days, got over 500 Facebook likes and more than 3,500 video views.

That’s quite a response for a first-time candidate.

I would love to take full credit for Ethan’s amazing success, but as I said before, I believe other factors were at play here—his compelling life story, his personality, his penchant for hard work, and of course his long-term involvement and close ties to his community.

Thank you to Ethan and to David Trotter for involving Content Puppy in such an important project.

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