Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

10 Worst Ads of This Election Cycle

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After tallying up the price tag on this election cycle (a mere $5.8 Billion) and sweeping the last piece of confetti from various convention floors, its time to look at some of the worst ads during this election cycle. And after the tumultuous primaries and crazed Super-PAC’s, its safe to say we had a lot to choose from.

These ads are in no particular order. After all, they made the list for completely different reasons. Our first selection comes from South Dakota. For those of you particularly fond of corny dogs, beware.

10: Dueling Visions 


9: Granny Off the Cliff 

To say this next one is particularly over the top could possibly be the understatement of the year. We just hope that Granny made it after her fall.


8: Big Bird 

If you missed the first debate, or the political firestorm after it, here’s the backstory: Romney told Jim Leher that he would cut funding for PBS and subsequently, Big Bird. The main problems were that Jim is an anchor on The PBS News Hour, and Obama’s campaign didn’t like the idea of an America without Big Bird.


7. Now is the Time for Action!

Herman Cain’s ad campaign was awash with interesting choices, but this one ended up going viral. While watching this ask yourself if this is a pro-Cain ad, or the ad tobacco companies have been waiting for since the 90’s.


6. Strong

You’ve probably seen converge of this now infamous ad, another one of Rick Perry’s bigger “Oops” in his failed presidential  campaign. Enjoy the great visuals, especially the Carhart jacket. Which, apparently, is the most emblematic apparel for a true American.


5.  Haircut 

Joe and Gayle Manchin prove to be the couple that does everything together, even haircuts. This ad had an interesting premise, but unfortunately it did not translate to the viewers at home. But luckily for Manchin, he did win re-election for the Senate. Looks like people around Washington will get to see his wife’s handiwork for 6 more years.


4. Again

This next ad comes from the North Dakota Senate race. The race between Republican Rick Berg and the eventual winner Heidi Heitkamp became one of the more contested races in the last few weeks of the election cycle. Enjoy a little slice of North Dakota ‘nice’ as the sweet old ladies (including Rick Berg’s own mother) take a stab at Ricky’s opponent.


3. Electric Fences 

The race for Texas Railroad Commissioner got a little more exciting after the release of this ad. Public decency aside, it’s still hard to decide whats worse: the bad cue card reading or the electrocution of the “washington-type.”


2. Spend it Now 

This ad ran in Michigan during the Superbowl. Instead of becoming a rallying cry for Michigan Republicans, it became an infamous ad for its racial undertones. Even after the media fury died down Pete Hoekstra could not gain momentum to catch up with the two-time Senator Debbie Stabenow and subsequently lost the election.


1. Understands 

This ad quickly became a news story as well. Watch as a middle-class man makes the argument that Mitt Romney killed his wife. Needless to say, this ad got more negative attention than votes.


Honorable mention goes to basically any other Herman Cain ad, especially ‘Rabbit.’ Also look for Rick Santorum’s ad ‘Obamaville‘ and the anti-Jon Huntsman ad from a Ron Paul Super-PAC. For more top ten lists, much like this one here, check out these articles from The LA Times, Bloomberg, Buzzfeed, and the Daily Mirror. For any and all other post election rests ad information, check out Destination 270.



Author: savvystephens

A history major trying to find out what the lessons of life are.

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