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Herman Cain Smoking Campaign Ad refers to a controversial YouTube advertisement for the Republican presidential nominee candidate Herman Cain. The video features a narrative by Cain’s chief of staff Mark Block who signs off suavely by blowing cigarette smoke into the camera set to the song “I am America” by Krista Branch. Due to its unconventional display of cigarette smoking in a political campaign ad, the video has sparked widespread confusion over the true intent and spawned numerous online parodies.
The video was launched by the campaign team of Herman Cain, a Chicago-based businessman and a Republican nominee candidate for the U.S. presidential election in 2012. Titled “Now is the time for action,” video was simultaneously released on Herman Cain’s campaign website and his YouTube channel on October 19th, 2011.
Since its upload onto YouTube, the video has been viewed over 1.4 million times in less than two weeks and is currently listed as the 8th most discussed clip in the News & Politics category.
The eccentric, low-budget advertisement featuring Mark Block quickly spread through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and reached the mainstream news and politics blogs like Huffington Post and Washington Post, generating a significant volume of buzz both in the news media and online about Herman Cain.
While the initial online reaction was dominated by confusion and questions as to why he decided to use the footage in his campaign ad, opposing viewpoints and alternative analysis of the video emerged in the following days, some bloggers and journalists describing the video as a viral success.
On the same day of the release, a number of spoof videos emerged from various tiers of video producers, including YouTube video-bloggers, comedy groups and cable TV pundits like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Sarah Huntsman’s Parody
In addition, the daughter of another Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. also contributed to the parody phenomenon.
Hitler Reacts to Herman Cain’s Ad
Huffington Post – Herman Cain Smoking Ad Slammed As Glorifying Smoking