This is what a good political ad looks like

Not since Paul Wellstone have we seen an ad that does so much to humanize a candidate as the one Minnesota DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar issued Thursday with DFL congressional candidate Dean Phillips.

It’s not entirely clear whether the video is intended to support Phillips or Klobuchar, one in a tough race, the other in about as safe a race as Minnesota currently features. More than likely, the intent is to use Klobuchar’s coat tails.

But it’s a unique style we don’t see much of anymore.

Have a look.

At some point, I must explore whether this notion of calling a root beer float “an A&W” is a Minnesota thing.

Seen some decent ads? Post them in the comments.

Seen some awful ones? Don’t.

  • KariBemidji
  • A-man
  • Erik Petersen

    That is brilliant. We’ll see that copied in coming years.

    • Agreed. It’s pretty much like the Seinfeld “Cars” show and done well.

      So far as who this is for – they are using Phillips’ truck, but both come across in a good light.

      • The Resistance

        It’s a cute, feel-good ad. But there’s something about it that makes it feel market-tested and inauthentic to me. Maybe it’s that he seems like he’s trying to copy Paul Wellstone’s green bus theme. Or that he seems to be hanging onto Amy’s coat tails. I think he’d do better if he told his own story. He does it fairly effectively on his website without hiding his privilege.

        • Yeah, that’s true, but hanging on Amy’s coattails isn’t necessarily a bad tactic.

          • The Resistance

            Yeah, I bet Keith Ellison wishes he were invited.

          • A POC driving around Edina might not end well.

        • Erik Petersen

          It borrows from Wellstone, yes, but the green bus became so iconic that its just established now that high level DFL campaigns are going to have cool campaign buses. Its trope basically. (Remember the Ann Van…)

          I know he grew up wealthy but would have not known he took a dishwashing job at Runyon’s at 15. In the ad he gets to reveal that detail in a way that seems authentic… very effective.

  • Sam M

    I can’t wait for the day when ads that make you smile work.

  • Jeff

    Looks like she might have a root beer float problem.

  • Gary Leatherman

    TIL Amy Klobuchar and I had the same 4th grade teacher.

  • Back in 2016 I saw this ad and got choked up the first time I saw it.

    /It still chokes me up a bit now.

  • Matt Inman

    Here is one of my personal favorites: Jesse Ventura the Action Figure

    • Matt Inman

      Not saying he was the best governor, but he did have some good campaign ads.

      • Northwoods did the Wellstone ads, IIRC.

        Bill Hillsman.

        got picked up in a prostitution sting in 2013 and haven’t heard much from him since.

  • The Resistance

    I think the current gold standard is the MJ Hegar (TX) ad from earlier this year. I felt like I knew who this lady was after watching it. I especially like the part around minute 2:45. She’s not from around here, but I wish she was.

    The Richard Ojeda ad in this WaPo article is also good.
    He talks about using his own cell# in the ad. What his and MJ Hegar’s ads both offer is authenticity. I think the electorate is craving candidates who aren’t grown in petri dishes in the basement of a northern Virginia based think tank. Or have the same last name as another politician in their state.

  • NTD

    We can’t forget the Fire Ted Cruz ads. Hilarious! #ComeOnTed

    • That’s not a good political ad in the vein we’re talking about. That’s just an attack ad. Anyone can do those.

  • RBHolb

    Here’s one I just learned about (WARNING: The language is definitely NSFW).

  • crystals

    I know it’s not really a feel good example, but the Phillips/Paulsen Bigfoot ad is pretty unparalleled in terms of creativity and production value. The actor playing Bigfoot is INCREDIBLE (which are six words I never thought I’d type about a campaign ad).

  • JamieHX

    I’ve lived in Minnesota all my life, and went to the A&W many times as a kid, and I’ve never heard a root beer float referred to as “an A&W.”

    • Barton

      Same. The ad was good, but I was more struck by the idea that somewhere in MN they call root beer floats ‘an A&W.’ Never heard that.

    • crystals

      I didn’t think they were calling the float an A&W, I thought they were referring to the specific kind of root beer they were using (because that’s where Klobuchar worked in high school).

      • Barton

        that makes more sense.

      • “Ex cept for the A&W” she said holding up the mug. That’s what got me wondering whether that was a MN term for a root beer float. Apparently not.

  • Steve Brown

    This was always one of my favorites from a couple years back. Carl lost in the primary to Catherine Clark, but it was a really great ad.

  • The Resistance

    Are there any good or inspiring Republican ads this year? All the examples provided are on the D column.

  • disqus_YFtTHILLJT

    Here is a good one posted by Isaiah. Not for a specific candidate, just to remind you of the issues.

  • Guest

    Any ad that does not comment on motives is OK, one that informs me is good. One that shows family or background, as a reason to vote for the candidate, is meh.

  • Guest

    What would news look like if media said “We won’t report on the horse race but will dive into each issue instead.”?

    • People would turn the channel (page).

      Media does that now. PBS NewsHour for example. You can find it right there are the bottom of the ratings.