From demon sheep to exploding toilets, every election cycle has its share of unusual campaign ads (these two ads, like most unusual ads, were created by ad maker Fred Davis).
(The first of these ads was of course for Carly Fiorina’s failed Senate bid in 2010, and we don’t yet know how Robert Blaha will do in Colorado this year)
However, I don’t think I’ve seen an ad that is as much of an eyesore as the one that the presidential campaign of John McAfee just put out. If you’re thinking that his name sounds familiar, you would be right. He is the creator of the McAfee anti-virus software that probably annoys you every time you see it on your computer.
Ever since Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential election, many conservatives with libertarian leanings were looking for a new candidate to support (and searches for the Libertarian Party surged instantly), and many began to consider the candidates for the Libertarian Party nomination. Although many have looked favorably upon Gary Johnson (who notched double digits in a recent poll in a race with him, Trump, and Clinton), I have seen a lot looking at Austin Petersen, a pro-life libertarian. However, McAfee is also the other candidate in the race, and as mentioned, he starts with a lot of built in name recognition.
This background brings me to the point I am trying to make. McAfee’s campaign just released an ad drawing on pop culture references while disparaging both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, encouraging voters to “kill politics so it can be reborn again.”
The ad itself is a sight to behold (and may actually give you a bit of a headache):
As downright weird as this ad is, it is nothing short of brilliant. It has been viewed tens of thousands of times in just over a day, which is critical for candidates who are not getting the same amount of saturation coverage that other candidates are getting. There is of course a major downside. The ad is extremely long for a political ad, and since it only mentions McAfee’s name at the end, it probably will help Johnson, because I can easily imagine people closing out of it before it mentions McAfee at the end, and Johnson is the most widely known Libertarian candidate.
Want proof? Consider the position of the Alabama Agriculture Commissioner. Most people had probably never heard of this position, but then Dale Peterson ran an ad, accusing his opponents of not “giv[ing] a rip about Alabama.”
Although Peterson ultimately placed third in the race, his ad was voted one of the best ever.
A single ad rarely wins a race, but the Libertarian Party has its convention next weekend, and maybe McAfee’s ad will be enough to push him over the edge. We’ll see soon enough if it pays off.