Another American election has come and gone, and no matter what your political opinions are you have to agree that the 2010 campaign had its fair share of baffling ads. Commercials like the infamous Demon Sheep and “I’m not a witch” became viral hits, but there were plenty of other insane ads out there that deserve recognition too. Here are the ten that still have us scratching our heads.
10. Elect Pamela Gorman and She Will Shoot Everything
You’ve probably seen this popular ad for Dale Peterson,
which is more American than a bald eagle making love to an apple pie at a baseball game. But that’s nothing compared to Arizonian Pamela Gorman’s commercial, because she doesn’t just pull out a gun; she shoots four different ones. Sadly, not all at the same time, but it’s still pretty extreme.
We’re not going to get into gun politics (because we don’t want to get shot), but shouldn’t a political ad say a little more than “Pow! Pow! Vote for me! Pow! I can use guns! Pow!”? And if not, then couldn’t they at least have given us some proof that Gorman really does have good aim? If we’re going to vote for someone based on her “I’ll shoot my guns a lot” stance, then we’d like to see some evidence that she can actually hit a bullseye or a communist or something.
9. Furries Against Sarah Palin
It’s hard to look crazier than Sarah Palin, but the women at “Sarah Doesn’t Speak for Me” somehow found a way. They chose to protest Palin’s support of certain candidates by… dressing up as grizzly bears and roaring at the camera.
Yeah, we get it, they were playing off of Palin’s “Mama Grizzly” quote, but that doesn’t mean you have to literally dress up as a bear. Unless, of course, they were trying to win the support of the valuable furry demographic, but in that case they should have gone with a full bear suit. If you only wear the head and nose, you just look silly.
8. Mike Weinstein Makes a Compelling Argument for Attack Ads
We’re all sick of attack ads; wouldn’t it be nice if there was just one election where only positive messages were used? A viewing of this ad for Floridian Mike Weinstein makes the answer obvious: hell no.
His two and a half minute song is so sugary that we got diabetes from watching it. But that’s the least of our problems; the chorus of “Mike, Mike, Mike Weinstein!” has been stuck in our heads for days and shows no signs of going away. We’re no longer sure if this was meant as a positive ad or an insidious experiment in mind control. Ah, we’re just kidding; the answer is obviously Mike Weinstein.
7. Look at This Terrible Green Screen Effect. Now Back to my Lousy Parody
This ad for Dan Freilich, a doctor who lost a Democratic primary in Vermont, features some of the most poorly executed green screen effects we’ve ever seen. You’d think that a doctor would be able to spend a little extra money on his campaign, but this commercial appears to have been paid for with the loose change Freilich stole off of new arrivals to the morgue. But whatever; it’s the content that matters, right? After all, Freilich really addresses the issues in this… Old Spice ad parody. Wow, really?
Freilich brags about not accepting any special interest money to fund his campaign with, and that’s admirable of him. But Dan, did you watch your own commercial? A little bit of special interest money might have helped you afford better special effects. Or the ability to shoot more than one take. Or a commercial that wasn’t… that. We’re sure the public wouldn’t mind an itty bit of corruption if it would result in an ad where you don’t straddle some poor aide wearing a cow suit.
6. Dan Fanelli Hangs Out in an Airport with Terrorists
This commercial for Floridian Dan Fanelli opens with two sinister looking guys in an airport hangar putting the finishing touches on what appears to be a very nice water bottle. We then learn it’s actually supposed to be a bomb, and as the men talk about how terroristy they are Dan Fanelli wanders in and tells viewers how he’ll deal with people like them: with extreme prejudice. We guess it’s supposed to be a scare tactic, but we’re just left wondering what Fanelli is doing in the hangar in the first place. The terrorists keep working behind him as he talks and he doesn’t do a thing, despite our yells of “Dan, there are terrorists behind you! Dan, stop them! Look out Dan, look out!”
Stranger yet, Fanelli made a second commercial where he spoke out in support of racial profiling. The only problem is that his example of a bad guy looks less like a terrorist and more like a bouncer, while his “good guy” appears to be a James Bond villain. We were way too busy worrying that he might melt our faces with a death ray to pay any attention to Fanelli’s message.
5. Vote for Rudy Moise, He Can Sort of Use Auto-Tune
This is another song, but instead of being embarrassing and addicting it’s just the former. So if you’ve ever wondered what a music video would be like if it had a budget of negative ten dollars and the person editing it decided to use special effects completely at random, then your dream is about to come true. And as a bonus, you’ll be able to hear what happens when Auto-Tune gets used on people who have absolutely no singing talent. If you can’t watch the video, then just imagine RoboCop starring in your favorite musical. It sounds like that, except not awesome.
Wait, so what’s the name of the guy we’re supposed to be voting for? The video didn’t really make it clear. Oh yeah, we remember now: Mike Weinstein.
4. The NRA and Chuck Norris Attempt Satire, Fail
The National Rifle Association has developed a reputation as an organization for illiterate hillbillies, and while that may be unfair they certainly didn’t help their case with this baffling attempt at self-depreciation. There’s nothing wrong with the commercial’s message (it’s encouraging members to register to vote), but we’re at a loss to explain why that had to be communicated by a fat, shirtless guy and Chuck Norris.
Maybe the creator of this video secretly hates the NRA; that’s the only explanation we can offer for why they decided to portray their own membership as a bunch of slovenly yokels. You know your video is in trouble when Chuck Norris is the most dignified person in it.
3. Vote for Rick Barber or Zombie Washington Goes to War
Rick Barber’s ad featured him hanging out in his basement with George Washington, Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin, which suggests that Barber is either a time traveller or a necromancer, either of which is a valuable skill for an elected official to have. But Barber lost the Republican primary, and while we’re not positive we think it may have had something to do with the fact that he apparently endorses armed revolution.
“Gather Your Armies”? Whoa, slow down there, Washington! Isn’t that a little extreme? Luckily, Rick Barber’s armies turned out to be nothing more than a few fat guys from his militia group, and so no harm was done.
2. Rob Hahn Sets CGI Animation Back 20 Years
Rob Hahn tried to become the Independence Party candidate for the Minnesota gubernatorial election, but lost the primary to a man named Tom Horner. That’s like dreaming about becoming the star pitcher for the New York Yankees, only to get cut from the local softball league for the physically disabled. And that was despite the fact that his campaign produced an animated video attacking Horner, the quality of which is rivaled only by the best animation produced in 1950s Czechoslovakia by the lazier and blinder communists.
Never mind the atrocious parody of “Space Oddity” that the ad was based on (although that “slicker than BP” line was a real zinger!); in fact, you probably didn’t even notice the song at all, because your mind was too busy being blown to pieces by the animation. Did you see Horner’s hand wave, and his fingers move, sort of? Did you see that little girl’s sign spin in defiance of the laws of physics? And did you see their eyes? Their cold, dead, unblinking eyes? Oh God, the eyes!
1. Vote for Basil Marceaux.com so He can Do His Issues
Basil Marceaux unsuccessfully ran for Governor of Tennessee, and while the man is no doubt good at many things we’re sad to say that public speaking is not one of them. Well, either that or he filmed this commercial while drunk. We’ll let you be the judge.
In the first twenty seconds he introduces himself as “Basil Marceaux.com” and says that he needs your votes so he can “do his issues and make yous all more freer than you were yesterday,” so it’s immediately clear that you’re in for a doozy. It only gets worse from there, as he squints at the camera like it’s an alien technology while discussing his plan to “make the flag fly right.” Yeah, OK Basil, you do that. We don’t want to be too negative though, so we’ll also point out that the man can rock a pink shirt better than anybody we’ve ever seen.
As a bonus, check out this video of Marceaux on Jimmy Kimmel Live, in what is no doubt an attempt to drum up his image in preparation for a 2012 Presidential campaign. You can count on our vote, Mr. Marceaux!
by Mark Hill