I was sitting down last Tuesday with a bowl of popcorn, geared up to watch Beyonce and Jay Z’s grammy performance for the umpteenth time, when one of those annoying YouTube ads popped up. It was a five seconder. Not bad, I thought. Except then a sad-looking man filled the screen while acoustic guitar played in the background.
“Hi. I’m Clay Pell. I am announcing my candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor of Rhode Island…”
I quickly clicked SKIP AD. But as I continued to surf YouTube, I found I couldn’t escape it. Nobody in the state of Rhode Island can. It appeared before every music video and movie trailer I attempted to watch. I started to have nightmares about it.
“Hola. Soy Clay Pell. Hoy, anuncio mi candidatura para la nominación…” AHHH. IT’S EVEN IN SPANISH.
I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what bothered me about the ad, and then I realized: Pell had the same expression and voice typically reserved for anti-depressant and laxative ads. Between the James Blunt-esque music and Pell’s puppy dog eyes, he could just as easily have said: “Hi. I’m Clay Pell. I’m here today to talk about your inflamed colon. I want to let you know — I’m here to help.”