The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday April 1st

View from the Hill

As Election Day dawns, a look back at 2014's most memorable campaign ads

Election Day has come — and more important than the actual winners and losers, Nov. 4 means the cascade of political advertising will come to a close.

Unfortunately for Louisiana and Georgia, their U.S. Senate races will likely result in a run-off, and therefore will see much more of the same campaign propaganda.

To celebrate the end of one of the most exasperating consequences of the democratic process, here is the best campaign video of the 2014 electoral cycle, as decided by a highly unscientific, ad hoc decision:

Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Ed Gillespie’s video has everything a political ad gawker could ask for. It features a heavy underdog willing to take risks (Gillespie trails the Democratic incumbent Mark Warner by nearly 10 percentage points, according to Real Clear Politics’ polling average), a middle-aged man co-opting an internet sensation, a pop song he almost certainly did not get the rights to use and curse words all wrapped up in a brisk 45 seconds.

The video has the Republican Gillespie reading mean tweets about himself to the camera for our amusement, a trope popularized by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel who occasionally has celebrities read tweets about themselves on his show.

It starts with a clip from Taylor Swift’s single “Shake It Off," and Gillespie is simultaneously reading the tweets off his phone as they flash across the screen.

The first he reads says, “Saw an Ed Gillespie bumper sticker on a car this morning, so I guess that means I saw Ed Gillespie’s car.”

He reads one from a Washington Post reporter that says: “@EdWGillespie announces ‘Ease the Squeeze’ tour; plays well with Charmin lobby.”

The highlight of the spot is when he reads how we all feel about political ads, “Your wack (bleep) TV ads are ruining my TV time.”

In honor of Gillespie and all the other candidates who dared to be different, here is a collection of the most memorable political ads featured on this blog during the 2014 campaign.

Two words: Hog castration.

Not since long-time “The Price is Right” host Bob Barker retired have airwaves been filled with so much talk of animal population control. Iowa Republican Joni Ernst came out with an ad that took the state’s Senate race by the pork loins and is now the favorite to win the seat.

Lil’ John and Rock the Vote teamed up to create this season’s most elaborate promotional video in an attempt to encourage young people to turn out to vote.

If Lil John was just a lil' better of an actor, he might have made viewers believe he really cared when he asks Lena Dunham if Shoshana and Ray end up together at the end of the yet-to-air season four of “Girls.”

Anytime your TV spot is linked to the infamous “Willie Horton” ad, you probably crossed a line. Alaska Democrat Mark Begich ran an ad that earned PolitiFact’s “Pants on Fire” rating for an ad implying Republican Dan Sullivan was indirectly responsible for allowing a double murder by being soft on sex offenders. The ad was later pulled from the air.

Even politicians despise the amount of political ads that clog up the airwaves during election season, and Sullivan is willing to take action.

He did what everybody wishes they could do — he takes a TV out into a field and shoots it.

The elections are almost over, and the only people sad to see them go are the local television stations who make money off all these ads.

[Fade to black.]

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