The 6 Most Baffling Political Ads Ever Aired

#3. Nightmarish Animals for Four


Amendment 4 was a Florida conservation initiative, so its supporters decided to advertise the issue with commercials featuring animals singing a catchy tune. What could possibly go wron- OH JESUS CHRIST, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

That rabbit's mouth has devoured worlds.

That is not how mouths work. And we're not just picking out one unfortunate frame here; the entire video is full of those gaping maws.

By animating the heads of the animals but not the bodies, they look less like adorable anthropomorphic critters and more like the failed experiments of an insane taxidermist. The fact that they got lazy with the rest of the commercial doesn't help, either. That lone, non-singing owl floating in the background is a testament to both their laziness and the nonexistence of a loving God.

We don't even hear lyrics anymore. Just the shallow, waning breath of dying hope.

The cheery, childish-sounding song makes it even worse. It's like they're being forced to sing a happy tune, when all they want is to be put out of their suffering.

"But nothing can save me. Please make it stop."

The amendment did pass with over 68 percent of the vote, so we guess the end justifies the means. Although how many people only voted yes to appease the nightmarish animals haunting their dreams wasn't calculated.

100 percent.

#2. "Major Oily Tom"


By now, we're all pretty used to seeing political ads that try to smear shit all over the other candidate -- that's just the way democracy works, right? Would-be Minnesota governor Rob Hahn, however, took this strategy a little too literally in this excruciatingly crappy (in more than one sense) CGI music video attacking his opponent Tom Horner.

Since the ad was made in 2010, not long after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Hahn decided it would be a brilliant idea to compare Horner to a greedy company like BP by showing oil dripping over the guy. The animators did a poor job conveying the idea, though, so it looks like Horner just got shat on by a pterodactyl.

Would you vote for a man covered in dinosaur poop?

Hahn's most scathing arguments against Horner's policies consist of calling him "a big tool" and making fun of his glasses. Hahn must have told the animators how important it was to convey these ideas ("He's a tool, and he has glasses"), because they went all-out in this section.

"Don't worry," said the animators to Hahn. "We got this."

"OOH, DAMN! Fucking nailed him!"

This is all set to a terrible parody of Peter Schilling's 1983 hit "Major Tom," by the way. "Horner" remains static and unblinking for most of the ad -- but when we get to the chorus (the "Earth below us" part in the original), all hell breaks loose, and he starts spinning on his axis.

Oh, shit! Did he just sing that? I believe he did! Suck it, buddy!

"Is that a pocket protector? I can't vote for a NERRRRRD!"

The only other character is a completely motionless child holding a sign that also spins, for no reason. Everything these guys know about animation, they learned from GeoCities.

"Nice job, guys. We should have no problem securing the pedophile vote."

Let's examine the logic behind this ad: Hahn's opponent is named Tom Horner (only identified in the video as "rhymes with corner"), and being governor is kind of like being mayor, and "mayor" sounds like "major," and there was a song called "Major Tom" in 1983, so clearly, "Major Oily Tom" is a thing that makes sense. By the way, this is Tom Horner:

Glasses: check. Middle-aged male: check. Close enough.

Rob Hahn lost by a landslide.

#1. Mike Gravel Stares. He. Just. Stares.


Unlike every other politician mentioned in this list, you may actually recognize Mike Gravel -- he served two terms as a senator from Alaska, helped make the Pentagon Papers famous and unsuccessfully ran for the 2008 presidential nomination for both the Democratic and Libertarian parties. He's also mastered the disappointed grandfather look, so while running his presidential campaign in 2007, he capitalized on that talent (and that talent only) with the following ad.

Just him. Silently judging you with his stare. For a full minute.

We dare you to watch more than 20 seconds without breaking down and confessing something.

That's the whole ad: just him looking at the camera for one glorious, awkward minute. For a second, his lips begin to open and it almost looks like he's gonna say something ...

... but nope, never mind, he closes them again. Back to staring.

"My disappointment in you has swallowed my words, like a black hole of disgust."

But wait, what's happening now? Shortly after the minute mark, a momentous event unfolds: Gravel turns around ...

... picks up a big rock by the side of the road ...

... and chucks it into the lake. OK, seriously now, how is this man not president of the United States?

"Mike Gravel '08: Fuck Rocks."

After that, he brushes off his hands and calmly strolls down the path for another full minute and a half, until he's no longer visible. Nothing else happens.

"Vote for whoever you like, I'm going home."

The Web address is the only indication that this is part of a political campaign. Gravel says he was approached by some art teachers with the idea to do this avant-garde ad and another one called "Fire" (spoilers: it's fire, for seven minutes), but he was happy to do it and didn't hesitate to slap his campaign website over the end. In case you're wondering, according to Gravel himself, he throws the rock into the lake and walks away because "he's trying to make a change in society and then he's going on with his life, or to death, who knows."

So there you have it. That's what happened after he disappeared into the woods. He died.

They should do a sequel where a man builds a baseball field in his corn, and Gravel walks out. And just stares.

You can read more from Mark at Zug and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Or check out his personal website.

For more terribly shitty ads, check out 8 Hilariously Failed Attempts to Use CGI in Political Ads. Or learn about 6 Ad Campaigns That Prove Humanity Is Doomed.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 5 Horrific Injuries People Didn't Realize They Had.

Or stop by LinkSTORM because outside? Meh.

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