2014's Weirdest And Wackiest Campaign Ads

Monday, October 6, 2014

An anti-Obamacare ad paid for by the Koch brothers declares "People don't like political ads." But we think you'll get a kick out of these.

ABC News is inducting the ads that are raising eyebrows and going viral into our 2014 Campaign Ad Hall Of Fame.

From castrated hogs to talking dogs, here are our picks -- with more to come throughout the election season.

(Click each title to see video on mobile devices.)

Congressional Candidate Gives You the Naked Truth (Literally).

Candidate: Kelly Kultala, Democratic candidate, 3rd Congressional District, Kansas

Title of Ad: "Naked Truth"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "A while back, Congressman Yoder made news by skinny dipping on the job. But it's more shameless what he's doing to Kansas. The naked truth is Yoder voted to cut Medicare for seniors. ... Congressman Yoder's record is nothing to blush about."

Why We Picked It: Congressional candidates often call out their opponents' moral failings -- but they rarely use naked bodies to do it. Yep, you read that right: this attention-grabbing ad features people in various states of undress -- including what at first appears to be Yoder's lower half. But lest you think the Kultala campaign recruited Yoder to star in an attack ad against himself, note the disclaimer: the naked body is a "*dramatic reenactment."

X-Games Medalist Trash Talks Senator

Candidate: Dan Sullivan, Republican Senate Candidate, Alaska

Title of Ad: "Lame Tricks"

Run time: 31 seconds

Lines We Love: "As a four-times X-Games medalist, I know something about snow machines. That's why I had a good laugh when I saw Mark Begich pretending to ride one. ... I'm tired of the phony politicians and Mark Begich's laaame tricks."

Why We Picked It: In any given election cycle, you're likely to hear candidates bashing each other for voting records, shady business dealings or any embarrassing gaffe. In Alaska, however, Dan Sullivan is locked in a tight race with Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich, and is going after him for "pretending to ride" a snow mobile. Sullivan calls on Alaskan pro snowmobiler Cory Davis, who looks to tie Begich's "lame tricks" to his support of President Obama and his "DC friends." The ad is a response to a Begich campaign video from earlier this year that featured the Senator trailblazing through Alaska powder on a snow machine.

GOP Group Spoofs Obama's Dating Profile

Sponsoring Organization: Americans for Shared Prosperity

Title of Ad: "Dating Profile"

Run time: 1 minute

Lines We Love: "In 2008, I fell in love. His online profile made him seem so perfect. ... But by 2012, our relationship was in trouble. ... I know I'm stuck with Barack for two more years. I get that. But I'm not stuck with his friends. I'm looking for someone who gets that this isn't about him. It's about us."

Why We Picked It: Forget about the so-called Republican "war on women" -- this woman is pushing back against the notion that ladies prefer Democrats. Citing NSA snooping, the national debt, and even ISIS's alarming proliferation abroad, the ad -- paid for by Americans for Shared Prosperity, which is funded by Republican multimillionaire John Jordan -- explains why some women have fallen out of love with the commander-in-chief and his allies in Congress. The spot has been praised by some and panned by others, with some critics claiming it could further alienate women.

Fake Insurance Execs Rock Out In New Campaign Ad

Candidate: Mike Obermueller, Democratic Candidate, 2nd Congressional District, Minnesota

Title of Ad: "Dance Party"

Run time: 1 minute 10 seconds

Lines We Love: "For insurance executives, John Kline is music to their ears."

Why We Picked It: This ad has all the makings of a party film: funky beats, alcohol, cash, streamers, a conga line - and a couple of stodgy insurance execs who know how to party. According to the ad, if Republican Rep. John Kline "got his way," that's just what they'd be doing. If reelected, Kline would repeal Obamacare, and "insurance companies would go back to charging whatever they want," the ad contends. Pay particular attention when one party-hungry businessman boogies down on top a conference table, and when another guy falls face-first onto a cake topped by Kline's photo glazed in icing.

NRCC Ad Blasts Congress for Spending $820,000 on Monkey Research

Sponsoring Organization: National Republican Congressional Committee

Title of Ad: "Outrageous"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "$820,000 of our tax dollars were spent studying how monkeys respond to unfairness, and how they act while on cocaine. Think about that."

Why We Picked It: Anytime an exotic animal shows up in a campaign ad, it's sure to be a scream. In this video, a woman with a monkey perched on her shoulder bemoans "outrageous" government spending and blames Georga Democrat John Barrow for voting with Barack Obama to bankrupt the government. If you look closely, you can almost see the monkey roll its little eyes. We're just a little disappointed the ad didn't find a way to work in the phrase, "monkey business."

Senate Candidate Rips Opponent Over Ebola

Candidate: Mark Pryor, Democratic candidate, U.S. Senate, Arkansas

Title of Ad: "Emergency Response"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "Tom Cotton voted against preparing America for pandemics like Ebola."

Why We Picked It: Anytime an exotic animal shows up in a campaign ad, it's sure to be a scream. In this video, a woman with a monkey perched on her shoulder bemoans "outrageous" government spending and blames Georgia Democrat Rep. John Barrow for "voting with Barack Obama" to "bankrupt" the government. If you look closely, you can almost see the monkey roll its little eyes. We're just a little disappointed the ad didn't find a way to work in the phrase, "monkey business."

No TV Is Safe In New Alaska Senate Ad

Candidate: Dan Sullivan, Republican Candidate, U.S. Senate, Alaska

Title of Ad: "Alaska Agreement"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "Millions of dollars of negative ads are flooding into Alaska, paid for by Washington special interests. Pretty soon you are going to want to do this to your TV..."

Why We Picked It: As campaign ads continue to stack up ahead of the fast-approaching midterms, politicians across the country are likely running out of things to shoot. So far we have an elephant piata, the full text of the Affordable Care Act, a drone, and now, a rather old-school television set. In June, former Alaska attorney general Dan Sullivan called on his Democratic opponent Sen. Mark Begich to sign a pledge banning third party special interest groups from political advertising in the state. Begich refused to sign the pledge, and now Sullivan is taking it out on TVs, saying "Mark Begich should tell his DC friends to stay out of Alaska."

Gun-Slinging Democrat Takes A Shot At Republicans

Candidate: Estakio Beltran, Democratic candidate, 4th Congressional District, Washington State

Title of Ad: "Good Shot"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "They call me a long shot. They say I can't win in this district. But what happens to an elephant that stands around doing nothing for too long?" Instead of answering this question with words, the 30 year-old Estakio Beltran chooses to answer it by shooting an elephant piata. And don't miss him riding a donkey at the end of the spot.

Why We Picked It: It's not too often that you see a Democratic candidate toting a shotgun in a campaign ad. While he's definitely a long shot -- which means this fiery ad might not help him much come November -- he's sure to ruffle a few feathers or crack open a few more piatas along the way. Beltran is seeking to fill Washington State's 4th District seat in a crowded race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Doc Hastings.

Male Republican Candidate Sports Pink Heels

Candidate: Stewart Mills, Republican candidate, 8th Congressional District, Minnesota

Title of Ad: "In Her Shoes"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "Every year he participates in 'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' event. My husband puts on pink heels to raise money for victims of domestic violence. It's one of the strongest things he does."

Why We Picked It: In this video Mills, who has garnered attention as the "Republican Brad Pitt" for his handsome looks, channels his feminine side. The ad begins with this "guy's guy" hunting in the great outdoors, but it quickly shifts to him walking in pink heels in a parade for female victims of domestic violence. You certainly don't see that every day in politics. Mills is running against incumbent Rep. Rick Nolan, a Democrat, in Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.

U.S. Senate Candidate Takes a Shot to the Groin

Candidate: Mike McFadden, Republican candidate, U.S. Senate, Minnesota

Title of Ad: "Coach"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: (In a high-pitched squeal) "I'm Mike McFadden, and I approve this message."

Why We Picked It: It comes out of nowhere, and it shocks the nerve like it shocks the narrative of McFadden's otherwise normal campaign commercial. While most of the video consists of McFadden coaching his youth football team and comparing it to his aspirations for Washington, out of nowhere one of the young boys strikes McFadden in his groin. It's clearly an attempt at humor, considering McFadden's Democratic opponent is former SNL funnyman Al Franken, though with all the football metaphors leading up to the big finish, it's difficult to see just what McFadden's campaign was trying to say.

S.C. Senate Hopeful Touts Multiple Arrests in New Campaign Ad

Candidate: Richard Cash, Republican candidate, U.S. Senate, South Carolina

Title of Ad: "Jailed"

Run time: 29 seconds

Lines We Love: "I've been here ten times, arrested for peaceful protest at abortion clinics."

Why We Picked It: Hoping to become a lawmaker? Then why not tout the laws you broke? Richard Cash apparently thinks his 10 separate arrests for protesting abortion might give him an electoral edge over incumbent Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (who, for the record, is also anti-abortion). Cash says he's ready to "stand against Washington's abuse of power" - and he has the (staged) mug shot to prove it.

Texas Lt. Governor Unleashes 'Frozen'-Fueled Attack Ad

Candidate: David Dewhurst, Republican candidate, Texas Lieutenant Governor

Title of Ad: "Dan Patrick Sings 'The Ballad of Dannie Goeb'"

Run time: 1 minute, 34 seconds

Lines We Love: "Won't let them in, won't let them see, that I'm a phony radio disc jockey... Let my lies rage on, lying never bothered me any way."

Why We Picked It: Is it a harebrained gaffe, or pure political genius? Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst took a Disney instant classic about sisterly love and turned it into a treatise on his political opponent's alleged lies, complete with a computer-generated image of his challenger in half of Elsa's trademark princess dress. Idina Menzel would be so proud.

But beware: pull a stunt like that and your opponent won't "Let It Go" easily. Dan Patrick (formerly known as Dannie Goeb) struck back with this Buzzfeed-style list of Dewhurst's flaws - illustrated by GIFs from "Frozen."

Gator Wrestler Rob Maness Can Handle Washington

Candidate: Rob Maness, Republican candidate, U.S. Senate, Louisiana

Title of Ad: "Gator"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "Here in Louisiana, you learn to be tough. One moment of weakness and the alligators can eat you alive."

Why We Picked It: There's just something about duct taping an alligator's mouth shut that screams "competent, trustworthy politician." And from the look of the ad, Rob Maness will take a page from the gators' book - snapping back at overspending, Obamacare, and efforts to pass gun control. If the first 28 seconds don't convince you to vote for him, the alligator snarl at the end might.

Iowa Senate Candidate Wants to Make DC 'Squeal'

Candidate: Joni Ernst, Republican candidate, U.S. Senate, Iowa

Title of Ad: "Squeal"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "I'm Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm. So when I get to Washington, I'll know how to cut pork." "Washington's full of big spenders. Let's make 'em squeal."

Why We Picked It: If there's one key to success in Washington, it's embracing your past. Ernst is looking to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, by promising to repeal Obamacare and "cut wasteful spending," in a manner similar to her experience castrating hogs on her Iowa farm. This commercial not only features more squealing pigs than any other candidate we've seen, it also earned Ernst a Sarah Palin stamp of approval.

Senate Candidate Spent $868 on Viral 'Blow Your B**** Off' Video

Candidate: Bob Quast, Independent candidate, U.S. Senate, Iowa

Title of Ad: "#GotBalls? Vote for Bob Quast"

Run time: 1 minute 28 seconds

Lines We Love: "If you are the sexual predator and sociopath who murdered my sister Lynette, and you come to my front door to do harm to my girls... I'm going to use my Glock, to blow your b**** off." Requesting an open debate with Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat also running for the Senate seat: "I will leave my gun at home. Joni [Ernst] can leave her knife on the farm. As long as you agree to leave your elite law degree in D.C."

Why We Picked It: Quast's "blow your b**** off" reference comes just before the 30-second mark in his upbeat ad. The candidate proudly brandishes a Glock and a switchblade when there isn't a baby or a puppy on the screen, but behind the video is the true story of Quast's sister Lynette, who was murdered by her husband Thomas Craft in 1999. Quast told ABC News he didn't really consider himself a candidate until the video went viral.

Mitch McConnell B-Roll Spurs '#McConnelling' Parodies

Candidate: Mitch McConnell, Republican Incumbent, U.S. Senate Minority Leader, Kentucky

Title of Ad: "McConnell Working for Kentuckians"

Run time: 2 minutes 22 seconds

Lines We Love: Not applicable.

Why We Picked It: McConnell's campaign team probably didn't expect their nearly two and a half minute montage to catch on so quickly across the U.S., but they can thank "The Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart for that. Stewart ran a campaign asking his audience to send in the best parody versions of the ad with different musical accompaniment, and McConnell actually winded up embracing the meme. Maybe showing voters you still have a sense of humor makes for a successful campaign video in itself.

Rep. John Boehner's Opponent Charges 'Electile Dysfunction' in Video

Candidate: J.D. Winteregg, Republican candidate (Tea Party), 8th Congressional District, Ohio

Title of Ad: "When The Moment Is Right"

Run time: 1 minute

Lines We Love: "It could be a question of blood flow. Sometimes when a politician has been in DC too long, it goes to his head." "Other signs of electile dysfunction may include extreme skin discoloration, the inability to punch oneself out of a wet paper bag, or maintain a spine in the face of liberal opposition. If you have a Boehner lasting longer than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention."

Why We Picked It: It may be a little suggestive for Winteregg, a high school French teacher from Ohio, but what better way to make a name for yourself? The video runs like a parody of a Cialis commercial, using Boehner's last name and his relationship with the president as Winteregg's ammunition. While no one in U.S. history has managed to beat a sitting House Speaker in a primary election before, Winteregg shows he's not afraid to have a little fun while trying.

Landrieu Criticized for Re-Enacting Congressional Hearing in Ad

Candidate: Mary Landrieu, Democratic Incumbent, U.S. Senate, Louisiana

Title of Ad: "Will Not Rest"

Run time: 1 minute 2 seconds

Lines We Love: "I will not rest until this injustice is fixed."

Why We Picked It: Landrieu's ad drew the ire of some conservatives after it was discovered she staged reenactments of statements she made in congressional hearings last year. Landrieu's campaign manager told ABC News the reenactments were necessary to avoid breaking Senate rules that bans using hearing footage in campaign ads. It resulted in a conservative advocacy group releasing an ad mocking Landrieu by showing the fake and real footage back to back.

Alabama Congressional Candidate 'Takes Aim' at Obamacare

Candidate: Will Brooke, Republican candidate, 6th Congressional District, Alabama

Title of Ad: "Let's Do Some Damage"

Run time: 1 minute 42 seconds

Lines We Love: "We're down here to have a little fun today and talk about two serious subjects: the Second Amendment and see how much damage we can do to this copy of Obamacare."

Why We Picked It: In this video, Brooke takes us to the gun range to shoot at a copy of the Affordable Care Act with three separate firearms. When he recognizes none of the firearms can pierce completely through the full bill, he tosses it into a wood chipper, "Fargo"-style. Brooke is running for retiring Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus' seat.

Tea Party Candidate Says McConnell Looks 'Like a Turtle'

Candidate: Dwayne Stovall, Republican candidate (Tea Party), U.S. Senate, Texas

Title of Ad: "Turtle Soup"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "I'm a Texan. We Texans don't need a beltway turtle telling us how to fight. As a U.S. senator from Texas, you vote for Texas. You don't stab her in the back for voting for cloture on Obamacare... and you certainly don't do all of this to please some guy that looks and fights like a turtle."

Why We Picked It: Stovall, who lost his primary bid to unseat Sen. John Cornyn earlier this year, didn't appear to be looking to make any friends with this ad. He calls out Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for looking and fighting "like a turtle," despite the very real possibility of a Majority Leader McConnell if the Republicans happen to win the Senate this November. His ad closes on a lighter note, though, with his dog proudly exclaiming, "I like turtle soup."

Montana Congressional Hopeful Shoots Down Drone (Sort Of)

Candidate: Matt Rosendale, Republican candidate, at-large Congressional District, Montana

Title of Ad: "Rifle Shot"

Run time: 30 seconds

Lines We Love: "I'm Matt Rosendale, and this is how I look from a government drone. And this is what I think about it... [gunshot]"

Why We Picked It: Rosendale lets voters know he isn't afraid to take an actual shot at the federal government when he takes down a drone in his TV ad. Yes, we know it's probably not a real drone he's shooting at. But it's a creative premise, and it certainly gets his message across.

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