Top 8 Political Ads of All Time

Curt Clawson, a businessman running for the House of Representatives in Florida, decided to give voters  some peace and quiet in his $110,000 ad featuring some of Florida’s best beach waves. It’s a strange sight that needs to be seen to be believed, but Clawson isn’t the only one to get wild with his ads. Here’s the top 10 political ads of all time, as chosen by me:

8. Curt Clawson, 2014, “Quiet”

7. Mike Huckabee, 2007, “Chuck Norris”

Huckabee served as Arizona’s governor until 2007, when he ran in the Presidential primary with a new plan to secure America’s border: Chuck Norris.

6. Lyndon Johnson, 1964, “KKK”

To be fair, this ad was produced for Johnson’s campaign but never released. But between this and the one that was released, which is our number 1 political ad of all time, the 1964 Presidential election would have turned some heads even in the 21st century.

5. Adlai Stevenson, 1952, “Bob Loves Ike”

The 1952 Eisenhower-Stevenson election saw the first commercials used for Presidential candidates, including the famous “I Like Ike” commercial. Picked for its historical relevance and adorable animation.

4. Anti-McCain, 2007, “Sweetheart Deal”

Exactly like the “Bob Loves Ike” ad that came out more than 50 years before, this ad, put out by the Democratic party in 2007 against McCain’s Presidential nomination, painted John McCain and George W. Bush as…lovers?

3. Mitch McConnell, “Working for Kentuckians” 

If you don’t watch the Daily Show, then maybe you haven’t seen the hilarious parodies of the ad that came out a couple of months ago as Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, prepares to face re-election against a candidate even further to his Right and a Democrat. This was the result:

2. Carly Fiorina, 2012, “Demon Sheep”

You’ve heard of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, right? Wrong. Unless you’ve seen this scary/funny ad. Despite (or because of) the strange ad, Carly Fiorina, California Republican candidate for the Senate won her race in 2012, the year that campaign spending reached nightmarish heights.

1. Lyndon Johnson, 1964, “Daisy Girl”

What is there not to love? The adorable girl who can’t count, the explosion that kills her, the voice-over about loving each other. There were few issues more important than the threat of nuclear war, and Johnson played perfectly on the emotions of the country. No wonder he won in a landslide with 90% of the electoral and 61% of the popular vote.


by KATIE AVAGLIANO / managing editor


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