President Obama didn’t advertise during the Super Bowl in his 2008 run for the White House. But his campaign benefitted from a devastating ad that remixed one of the most famous Super Bowl ads ever.
Adapting the “1984” Apple ad that premiered during the Super Bowl 28 years ago, an Obama fan’s video showed a blond female athlete throwing a sledgehammer at a huge screen of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) talking to people who appear brainwashed.
The ad, which only appeared on the Internet, ended with this message: “On Jan. 14, the Democratic primary will begin. And you’ll see why 2008 won’t be like 1984.
Over the last decade, there have been a handful of ads that have prompted outrage from politicians and political groups. A list of them follows.
2011: Pepsi Max. On the House floor after the Super Bowl, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) admonished the iconic soft drink maker for what she called a “demeaning” ad. In it, a black couple is enjoying a day in the park, when a white female jogger sits next to the man and smiles at him. The black female throws her Pepsi Max at her boyfriend, he ducks and it hits the jogger.
At the time, Jackson-Lee said the ad “was insulting to women of all colors.” She also criticized Pepsi for running such an ad during African-American history month.
2010: Focus on the Family. The mother of then-college football star and now Denver Bronco Tim Tebow stands against a plain white backdrop and talks about her difficult pregnancy with “Timmy,” almost losing him several times. Although the ad was paid for by for the group that opposes abortion rights, there was no explicit anti-abortion message contained in the ad, as was expected before it aired.
Carroll said that “pro-choice forces got sucked into a conversation about something that never actually happened,” adding, “Focus on the Family got the benefit of all this publicity ahead of time, and when it aired, it took the air out of the room.”
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