Video: Click here to watch the ads.
Two Omaha guys who felt like we all needed a break from political advertising on TV decided to be the comic relief they wanted to see in the world.
Pharmacists Matt Kubat and Jim Quinley made their own 30-second commercial spots, with the help of a videographer friend, Mele Mason. Kubat and Quinley raided their piggy banks and spent $3,400 to buy peak-viewing airtime on local television.
The apolitical ads aired on Monday and Tuesday nights during evening newscasts on WOWT-TV.
So if you happened to see commercials with two middle-aged guys wearing vintage Barry Goldwater, Lyndon Johnson and Homer Simpson campaign buttons and you wondered “What the heck was that?” Well, here's what the heck that was: A couple of cut-ups having fun, at their own expense, for your viewing pleasure.
It started one recent day at Kubat's Pharmacy. Quinley and Kubat were chatting while filling pills.
“We were talking about how we're so tired of these ads,” Quinley said. “People are being inundated by political ads 24/7. We need a break. We need to do something.”
They considered their options. They rejected a trip to Las Vegas. A week from Election Day, you can run, but you can't hide from political commercials, and it wouldn't have helped anyone else. What if, instead, they just put their own ads on TV, and literally gave people a break?
They checked into the price. It was steep, but worth it to them. They bought time for the commercials to air, between political ads, three times on Monday and three times on Tuesday.
The money they spent would have paid for “a really good trip to Vegas,” Quinley said.
There's no hidden political point. And they're not ads for Kubat Pharmacy, where Kubat and Quinley work, Quinley said. It's just for fun.
“We don't have a lot of money, but we just wanted to, during these polarizing times with politics ... give people a little laugh, a little break,” he said.
They made two ads. In one, Kubat and Quinley sit on a sofa. Their navy-blue blazer lapels sport campaign buttons for Republican Goldwater, Democrat LBJ and the presumably independent cartoon character Homer Simpson.
“Are you tired of these political ads running constantly?” the two ask. “If so, we're here to provide you with some relief from these irritating ads. For the next few moments, we'll show you a scene that's hopefully not as irritating as these political ads.”
Flash to the less irritating scene: A dentist drilling into a patient's teeth.
The guys on the sofa return.
“I'm still Matt Kubat. And I'm Jim Quinley. And we approved this message.”
The other ad is similar. Instead of the dentist's office, though, it has a few seconds of a bird tweeting and other nature footage filmed by Mason.
No patient was harmed in the making of the videos.
“Not physically,” said Quinley, who identified the dentist as Matt Kennedy. “I'm sure there was emotional harm, though. The patient is Matt's girlfriend.”
The commercials appear to have moved the needle on the jokesters' approval rating.
“All positive,” Quinley said Wednesday morning of the reaction. “We've received close to 200 calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages. We were flabbergasted by the number of them. Most have been from people who know us, a lot of customers. They said thank you, thank you for making us laugh.”
Contact the writer: 402-444-1057, firstname.lastname@example.org
Videos courtesy of Matt Kubat and Jim Quinley