Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Video: The Five Weirdest Austin Election Commercials

Lee Leffingwell is as surprised as you are by some of these clips.
Image courtesy
Lee Leffingwell is as surprised as you are by some of these clips.

With early voting in the Austin city elections finished, and a scant four days left until Election Day, campaign ads are increasingly ubiquitous.

But where’s the fun in what's on the airwaves? Most broadcast spots are feel-good, soft-focus spots that have been focus-grouped within an inch of life. No, it’s in the wilds of the Interwebs the Austin politico finds the most entertaining (if not exactly illuminating) clips.

KUT News has combed the digital wastelands to find the strangest campaign ads for this Saturday’s City Council contest. And since sometimes, the WTF? is hiding in plain sight, we’ve including some broadcast spots in this roundup of the five weirdest videos in the Austin city election:

“Changing People’s Lives”  

This broadcast ad from incumbent Place 2 council member Mike Martinez has all the hallmarks of a mainstream ad: gently strummed guitar, a story of personal uplift, a list of endorsements. But then Martinez tells us “I came here with $50 dollars and a trumpet.” And to that he adds, “I felt like I’d been here forever, the day I got here.”  With apologies to “The Shining,” Mr. Martinez, you’ve always been the council member.

“Laws are for other people! VOTE! May 12 for Change Laura Pressley vs Mike Martinez”

“I won the lotto, and this is how I’m spending my money.” Not exactly the most common political disclaimer, but one included here by filmmaker David P. Griffin. The mention comes at the end of Griffin’s clip attacking Mike Martinez on behalf of Laura Pressley. The clip features footage of Martinez shifting his eyes while sitting on the dais, proving that over the course of any televised 10 hour meeting, you’ll probably get a few funny shots. To quote Griffin, “What’s up with that?” Griffin has dozens other intriguing videos on his YouTube channel.

 “Chapter 4 - Ya see, politics CAN be funny!”

In this odd homage to Gilligan’s Island, Place 5 candidate Tina Cannon attempts to fashion a campaign video out of two coconuts, the Skipper’s hat and a hairpin. (Not really.) But in the clip (part four of a 12-part – yes, 12-part – series), a disembodied Bill Spelman floats over the Professor’s body. Ahoy matey!

“Sheryl Cole TV Commercial - Early Vote 2012”

“I’m Sheryl Cole, I’m an attorney and an accountant …” and I’m in your face! This quick moving clip from Cole drums up her budgetary experience, albeit with some camera work that’s a cross between “The Office” and any film from the Bourne trilogy. 

“Sweet Brigid Shea Movie Trailer”

While likely not destined for “Avengers”-style box office receipts, this clip from mayoral challenger Brigid Shea’s campaign can carry a tune (for the most part.) Plus, it’s adept at “Taking names and kicking butt,” at least according to the pre-roll.

In case that hasn’t satiated your politics fix, below are the official TV clips for Leffingwell and Shea, plus what’s probably the most meme-able clip from this entire cycle: Lee Leffingwell in the shower, from all the way back in February. 

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
Related Content