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Say “Yes” to Ads: Colorado’s Best and Worst Political Commercials


If you’re reading this, you might be one of the million Americans who are avoiding looking at a TV right now. No, our national obsession with the tube isn’t waning—on average, we stare at that machine for more than five hours a day—we’re just sick of watching ads. This morning, while getting ready for the office, I lost track of how many political ads played around the news segments. I actually found myself wishing for a “Buy Gold Now!” pitch or some household product commercial overemphasizing the joys of laundry (c’mon, there is no joy in laundry).

While I might make a decision on a laundry soap brand from a 30-minute commercial, I need a little lot more information to cull out my favorite candidates. Short of binge-watching Netflix’s House of Cards (again) until the election, it seems unlikely I’ll get a political fix on television without overdosing on ads.

So I figured, why not embrace it? I scoured YouTube for some of Colorado’s best/worst and new/old ads. What grade you give them will depend on your politics. I judged them solely on entertainment value. Enjoy (or not).

Most Goofy: John Hickenlooper’s tame 2014 campaign ad makes us miss his more laid-back promos, including this classic from the 2003 mayoral race.

Want more quirky Hickenlooper footage? Check out this 2010 ad.

Best Use of Scenery: Mark Udall always seems to find oh-so-perfect Colorado backdrops for his commercials. A pretty setting can’t distract from the first 10 seconds of this 2008 ad.

(Brownie points to someone to can track down a copy of Beauprez’s 2006 clip where he’s standing near a horse’s butt. The unfortunate placement would earn a “Worst Use of Scenery” nod.)

Best Use of a Motorcycle: Colorado’s political ads regularly feature some sort of transportation, from horses to buses. I dig Tom Tancredo’s use of a Harley instead of a pony. (Make sure to watch Hickenlooper’s ad above first to see how Tancredo pokes fun at the original.)

Worst Use of a Floating Head: I’ve watched this 2006 ad a few times and always get distracted from the content by Bill Ritter’s disembodied head (around 0:15).

Cutest Kids: Michael Bennet’s kids are just too adorable in this 2010 ad. I wonder how they’ll feel about it when they hit college…

Biggest Fail: When you support a candidate, Bob Beauprez in this case, work on the pronunciation of his name before hitting the record button, or expect some ridicule. I honestly thought this was a spoof—it’s a real ad put out by the College Republican National Committee—when I first saw it.

Most Obvious: In 2012, Joe Coors assured us that he is not a beer.

Bonus: A time capsule from the 2006 election.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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