Laughter at the polls: Funny Austin campaign ads going viral

In his extremely popular campaign ad, Travis County Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty's wife Charlyn narrates as he frustrates the house guests with talk about county issues.

The ad has gone viral.  Star Trek actor George Takei posted it on Facebook -- his post has 2 million views as of this week.

"This thing is so nuts I think it's on every continent.  Except maybe Antarctica.  And I doubt that the penguins care," he said.

Daugherty says in one of the many interviews he's done about the ad, a Chicago radio personality asked if the acting was a stretch for he and his wife.

"Did you have to have a lot of takes on that with your eye rolls and your expressions?  And she said 'no not really.'  I mean yeah that wasn't acting for her," he said.

Democrat David Holmes is running against Daugherty.  He says he sent a note to his opponent thanking him for the ad. 

"He has used the resources that the development industry has given him and made this wonderful ad that is shining attention on this race that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise.  And so it's actually helped me in many ways to get my message out to people that are now paying attention to this race," Holmes said.

"I think what we really hit with this thing is that it was poignant enough to send a message about how serious I am about this job even though it was in a light tone," Daugherty said.

Daugherty's ad isn't the only "outside of the box" clip that came out of Austin this election season.  There's a satirical anti-mobility bond ad and City Council Member Don Zimmerman's ad lampoons the DirecTV commercials featuring 2 Rob Lowe's.

Both Daugherty's ad and the anti-prop 1 clip were done by "KC Strategies."  Zimmerman's was produced by Ben Adams with Atomic Productions here in Austin.  He says the concept was from Zimmerman's head.

"When you think of a political ad you think don't usually think of fog machines and top hats and cigars," Adams said.

Adams says if an ad is so different from the norm, people watch -- and he feels that carries over to the ballot box.

"I think this sort of 'soft-sell you on the candidate by using comedy' is a really strong way to market.  If I see an ad and it's got somebody in there making me laugh rather than making me feel fearful about the other candidate then I'm more likely to go vote for them," Adams said.

During our interview with Daugherty's opponent David Holmes, he said he hopes this light-hearted moment in the campaign leads people to take a hard look at the two candidates.

If you'd like to watch Daugherty's ad in full, here is a link to the ad and his Facebook page.

Daugherty's opponent David Holmes's Facebook and YouTube page.

City Council District 6 Don Zimmerman's Facebook and YouTube page

City Council District 6 Candidate Jimmy Flannigan's Facebook and YouTube page

Prop 1 ANTI Youtube video and FOR YouTube video

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