Meet the Bad Boy of Political Advertising
Posted on Jul 13, 2006
He transformed former Gov. Jesse Ventura into a Rodin sculpture and a Texas gubernatorial candidate into an action figure. He also paired Ned Lamont with Daily Kos founder Markos Zuniga. But Bill Hillsman produces winners, so why is he shunned by most of the political advertising establishment?
Christian Science Monitor:
If you own a television, you probably think of the nonstop barrage of political advertising during election years as the equivalent of taxes: It’s the price you pay for living in a robust democracy. But Bill Hillsman, a Minneapolis-based advertising executive, has shown that election commercials can be more entertaining than the sitcoms they interrupt. Over the past 15 years he’s crafted some of the most unusual and attention-getting commercials in politics, transforming former Gov. Jesse Ventura into a Rodin sculpture and turning current Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman into an action figure.
He’s already enlivened the Connecticut Democratic senate primary with one of the first ads he cut for businessman Ned Lamont, who is mounting a strong primary challenge to Democratic Sen. Joseph Lieberman.
While the ad begins conventionally with the candidate sitting in his living room explaining his position on healthcare, through the window a crowd can be seen growing outside, led by the liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos.
From Becky Olstad / CSM
UNDERDOGS ‘R’ US: Adman Bill Hillsman with action figures of two clients, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and Texas gubernatorial hopeful Kinky Friedman.