Election 2017

Stoop frenemies, retro Bill Clinton: The craziest TV ads of the Pennsylvania primary

Networks in Philly have aired about nine political ads per hour in the last week.

Kenney Williams GIF

If you’ve been watching TV lately, you know all about today’s election. Networks in Philly have aired about nine political ads per hour in the last week. Some of these ads have been boring. Some have been pugnacious. Others have been a little bit odd.

And for your Election Day enjoyment, Billy Penn has highlighted six of the oddest TV ads to run in the Philadelphia area this primary season.

All of the Lights

Ted Cruz was probably wanting to make Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look like monsters in this ad when he highlighted each of them in a sharp yellow light. Instead he made them look like Kanye from the “All of the Lights” video, which is to say he made them look cool.

All of the Lights
YouTube screenshots

Retro Bill Clinton

US Senate opponents Joe Sestak and Katie McGinty both have a history working with Bill Clinton. McGinty was the leader of the White House Council on Environmental Quality under him. And Sestak was on the National Security Council during Clinton’s tenure. They boasted about these accomplishments in ads with some great throwback pictures.

Sestak Clinton
YouTube/Joe Sestak
Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.05.32 PM

The John Kasich Playbook

In which a group attacking Kasich cuts an ad depicting him as something resembling a South Park character. This one was originally made for Wisconsin but aired a few times in the Philadelphia area.  

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.41.08 PM

The Know Your Demo Ad

Young people aren’t exactly known to turn out in droves for elections. People in the 65-plus age range are. So why not make a commercial where every face in it is over 65? That’s what Sestak did.

Rubio’s classics

Before Chris Christie and Marco Rubio dropped out of the race, Christie released this ad illustrating how Rubio says the same talking points over and over. The fake album cover is what makes the commercial: 

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 4.52.59 PM
YouTube/Chris Christie


This ad featuring last year’s top mayoral candidates Jim Kenney and Anthony Williams is everything. It is part “Odd Couple” and part prescription drug commercial — free from that nasty sinus infection at last! Thank you, political payback to Johnny Doc for allowing this to happen because this was definitely the best ad.

Do you guys agree?

Want some more? Explore other Election 2017 stories.

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