While Virginia had its own political controversy with the mysterious cryptozoological phenomenon earlier this summer with the great Bigfoot Erotica scandal of 2018, peak Bigfoot has now been achieved in the contest for Minnesota’s 3rd District. Apparently all that was needed for the creature to reveal its existence to the world was the ongoing political climate. The ad, released by Democratic challenger, Dean Phillips, uses the North American Yeti to make the point that his challenger, incumbent Republican Erik Paulson, is more elusive and harder to find than Bigfoot himself.
The ad starts with Bigfoot wondering out loud: “I thought I was good at hiding,” before saying “Then Erik Paulson comes along.” The arc of the story only grows more ironically hilarious from there as Bigfoot opines: “How can you have tens of thousands of people looking for you all the time, and not one of them find you. I started to wonder, does Erik Paulson even exist?” From there Bigfoot sets out on a quest to find the Republican Congressman, armed with nothing more than a classic Ford T-Bird, a roller cooler, and an old school VHS video camera. Narrating the video in first person, Bigfoot tells the viewers his plan, “Paulsen takes piles of money from big pharma and votes to erode essential healthcare protections. So the most likely place to find him is at a big pharmaceutical company.” Staking out the lobby of one such company, Bigfoot eventually finds his man, telling the audience that he was prepared to stay there for weeks, but that “it took seven minutes,” before coyly smiling at the camera.
The ad has already been viewed 48, 358 times on YouTube and an additional 144,000 on Phillips’ Facebook page and has been widely lauded in marketing and advertising news, and even more conservative publications like Forbes, who called it, “fantastic”. According to Ad Week the campaign video was made on something of an ad-hoc basis with volunteers from the campaign and various agencies pitching in creative direction. There is no doubt that this campaign ad will be remembered as one of the greats, and in an age of visceral attack ads that are often deeply personal; this combination of film making, thematics, and irony was an interesting reimagining of how attack politics can be done in a way that is light-hearted and contemporary.