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The Craziest Political Campaign Ads From Across The Country (VIDEO)

First Posted: 05/16/10 06:12 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 04:50 PM ET

This weekend, having promised America more campaign ads as bizarre and mind-numbing as their previous "Demon Sheep" effort, the Fiorina campaign put out a new seven-minute opus about Barbara Boxer turning into a huge zeppelin, which floated menacingly over America. It's unclear if the ad will prove to be effective -- who criticizes someone for a swollen ego by dedicating a seven-minute online video to themselves? -- but it does establish the Fiorina campaign as the Terry Gilliam of campaign advertising.

We sort of think this new spot falls short of the cray-cray mark established by the "Demon Sheep" ad. But the year is young, the bar has been set, and new technologies allow for the easy creation and rapid dissemination of campaign advertising. In fact, in this case, speed could be a killer: it's almost too easy to get an ad created and out into the world. So much so that it's a safe bet that some terrible ideas that should have been left on the cutting room floor are likely to go viral.

And let's face it, there's already a rich tradition of terrible campaign advertising. It's a field in which the Spielbergs are often overshadowed by the Ed Woods. With the always invaluable assistance of the Huffington Post's Elyse Siegel, we've pulled some of our favorite insane campaign ads from days gone by. Many of these ads go to a lot of trouble to use the conventions of movies, television shows, and other media -- and they all do so very badly.

One of the great things this age of rapidly uploadable and embeddable media allows is for advertising to be created on a shoestring budget. It also allows you, the reader, to turn the crazy ad that might not get attention outside of your district into something in which the whole world can delight. If you catch a bizarre -- or effective! -- ad in your local races this year, let us know.

Elyse Siegel contributed to this post.

Mike Gravel Tosses Rock Into Lake, For Some Reason
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Mike Gravel's 2008 campaign is best remembered through the strange political ads that were produced on its behalf. It's hard to choose one: there's his rap video, his "Two Mikes" conversation with himself (which is actually quite good), but for our money, the essence of Gravel was captured by this strange, David Lynch style advertisement, where Gravel stares at the camera, expressionless, for a minute before he picks up a huge rock and hurls it in a lake. Then, he just walks off!

There's also this one where the camera just stares at a campfire for seven minutes. I think the goal here was to convince America that Gravel would be the candidate that adhered to Dogme 95 conventions.
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The Insanity

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