When it comes to truly entertaining ads, forget the Super Bowl and look no further than political campaigns.
While politicians aren’t always as effective as Coca-Cola or Budweiser in convincing consumers — or in this case, voters — to buy what they’re selling, their efforts are often far more amusing. This year’s midterm elections have already churned out a slew of surprising results in the primaries, and some of these ads just might have played a small part in swaying voters (though not necessarily in the intended direction).
We’re only halfway through the year and still have the general elections — and the ads they will bring — to look forward to, but the commercials that have already graced the screens of voters across the United States deserve some well-warranted attention for their absurdity.
Here, in no particular order, are the five craziest ads of 2014 so far:
Joni Ernst Wants To Castrate Washington
Let’s start things off with a bang, or in this case, a squeal. Iowa state senator Joni Ernst’s (R) slightly threatening ad was uncomfortable in a number of ways — after all, what good could possibly follow from an opening line like, “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm”? And was it really necessary to go straight to castration in order to make the point that Ernst knows how to “cut pork?” To be fair, starting things off with a story about butchering a piglet wouldn’t have been much better, but castration… yikes.
Ernst concludes her charming presentation with an approval message that goes a step beyond consent, saying, “I approve this message because Washington’s full of big spenders. Let’s make them squeal.” If that doesn’t convince you, we don’t know what will.
The threat must have worked, as Ernst won her primary, and will face off against Rep. Bruce Braley (D) for the Senate seat in November.
John Boehner Suffers From ‘Electile Dysfunction’
In what we can only hope is the most immature ad to hit the airwaves in 2014, J.D. Winteregg — a little-known primary challenger to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) — suggested that his opponent suffers from erectile dysfunction. Well, not exactly.
Winteregg’s ad coined the term “electile dysfunction,” which occurs when “a politician has been in Washington for too long.” This causes the blood to go to his head, and “he just can’t seem to get the job done.” Bastardizing Boehner — whose name kind of looks like “boner,” in case you still didn’t get it — for working too closely with President Obama, Winteregg presented himself as the political equivalent to Viagra, which is always the comparison one wants to make when running for national office.
A few weeks after releasing the ad, Winteregg lost his job, and then proceeded to lose the primary. An all-around nasty end to a nasty campaign.
Thad Cochran, Please Come Home
In part one of the Cochran vs. McDaniel showdown in Mississippi’s Republican Senate primary, state senator Chris McDaniel set a new standard for grassroots campaigning with this song-and-dance routine that features his supporters begged longtime senator Thad Cochran to “please come home.” The three-minute-long ad features The Boomers in a dream sequence, in which they sing a catchy little jingle that is possibly the most creative combination of arts and politics to date. Unfortunately for McDaniel, while his supporters’ music and lyrics were winners, he lost the primary to Cochran on Tuesday.
Thad Cochran Does Indecent Things To Animals
This ad supporting Chris McDaniel over Thad Cochran is a bit less nuanced than The Boomers’ song, but a little more concerning. The spot, made by the Now or Never PAC, begins boldly by taking a segment of a Cochran speech out of context and warning listeners that growing up, Cochran thought it was “fun to do all kinds of indecent things with animals.”
The takeaway? Bestiality bad. Cochran bad. McDaniel good.
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst Ruins Frozen Forever
We’ve saved the best for last, in yet another display of things that can only happen in Texas. David Dewhurst, who was defending his position as lieutenant governor of Texas against Tea Party challenger Dan Patrick, released his own version of Let It Go, promptly ruining the song for Frozen fans everywhere. The video’s bizarre, poor production values are surpassed in mediocrity only by the lyrics, which attack Patrick’s past as a DJ, his name change from Daniel Goeb to Dan Patrick, and his bankruptcy.
Sadly, it seems that songs really don’t sit well with voters. Like McDaniel, Dewhurst lost to Dan Patrick — marking the second time the Republican has been outflanked from the right in a primary election.