They may be difficult to recall, but there were some things about the 2016 presidential election that made people happy and hopeful. Perhaps even harder to believe is that some of those things were campaign advertisements.
The ad is a montage of American images — farms, cities, windmills, offices, coffee shops and kitchen tables — set to the well-known Simon & Garfunkel song of the same name. Other than the obligatory message of approval at the end, there’s no audio other than the tune and the background sounds of American life, which occasionally involve the waxing and waning of roars from the crowds as Mr. Sanders comes into and out of frame.
As the duo sing, “They’ve all come to look for America,” videos of thousands of supporters meeting Mr. Sanders, in different times and places, flow across the screen and divide into squares on a quilt that multiplies over and over until there are too many to see.
By far, Mr. Sanders’s “America” was the ad from 2016 that made SpotCheck’s raters the happiest and the most hopeful. Nearly 80 percent of viewers said the ad made them at least a little bit happy and hopeful in the week it debuted — including over half of the Republicans who saw it.