There’s an election on, which means everyone’s getting bombarded with campaign ads. After a while, they all start to run together. It’s hard for any one candidate to stand out from the buttoned-up, red-white-and-blue morass.
And here we’ve got to hand it to Minnesota House of Representatives candidate Thomas Manninen.
Originially from California, this Republican law student has been living in Littlefork since 2004. He’s challenging incumbent DFL Rep. Rob Ecklund (International Falls). Manninen's talking points are pretty similar to a lot of Republicans vying for seats in our state. He’s big on “reopening” Minnesota, curbing regulations, and bringing more revenue and industry to his northern Minnesota district.
But few, if any, can claim an election ad as memorable as the following, which was released by Manninen’s campaign on Wednesday.
So, let’s talk about the three-and-a-half minutes of video you just saw.
Quick review – started with an iconic Robert Frost poem about stopping in the woods on a snowy evening. (Intriguing and a little spooky!) Segued quickly into Manninen in this tight-fitting Coca-Cola T-shirt with pounding buttrock music in the background.
Then there was a lot of lumber footage, highlighting Manninen’s support of northern Minnesota’s timber industry.
But also, like, 16 different shots of Manninen gently cradling an axe. (Is he gonna use it? The suspense!)
And this part, when he breaks the ever-loving fuck outta this punkass stick.
Yeah, get wrecked, stick!
Manninen didn’t respond to interview requests about the creative choices behind this ad. To his credit, it’s a bold move to make a campaign video look like a Dodge Ram commercial fucked a can of Red Bull. It certainly held our attention.
If you’re into this particular vision, there’s actually more where that came from. Manninen also has a five-and-a-half-minute ad about the importance of police that’s mostly sad music played over the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis and echoey voiceovers.