The best campaign ad ever?

A candidate for mayor in New Orleans comes up with a creative way to sell himself

Published November 23, 2009 6:29PM (EST)

James Perry wants to be the next mayor of New Orleans, but right now, he's an underdog. And because of the city's unique election schedule -- the primary's being held next February -- he doesn't have much time to introduce himself to voters.

So Perry and his campaign have come up with an interesting solution -- an ad that doesn't hold back in expressing what it says are the views of city residents. When a narrator, describing other candidates, says, "Political insiders and career politicians," a woman's face appears onscreen and she says, "What? Are you shitting me?" (The word "shitting" is bleeped out, as are all the other curse words in the ad.) Then, a man comes on and asks, "Are you fucking kidding me?" He's followed by another man who simply says, "What the fuck?"

The spot is certainly an attention-grabber, even without the promse Perry makes at its conclusion -- he says he'll cut the city's murder rate by 40 percent or he won't run for re-election. In some cases, a campaign might put an ad like this out solely for the media attention; while that certainly seems to be a factor here, Perry's reportedly spending $60,000 for airtime as well.

Video is below, with a tip of the hat to my former colleague Vincent Rossmeier.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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2010 Elections New Orleans War Room