Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running as an independent for the White House, leaned heavily on his late uncle’s political legacy with a Super Bowl spot that recreated a vintage TV ad from John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign.
Kennedy Jr., who is the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of JFK, is pursuing a controversial political agenda that includes advocating against vaccines for COVID and other diseases. He is married to actress Cheryl Hines.
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The original spot uses rudimentary animation and stop motion edits that blend photos and headline messages such “Vote Kennedy,” “A Time for Greatness” and “Vote Democratic.” RFK Jr.’s version featured photos of himself where his uncle had been and other adjustments.
The spot aired during the first half of the NFL championship game between the San Francisoco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
RFK Jr. distributed the ad via his social media channels. The video of the one-minute spot links to Kennedy’s American Values 2024 political action committee.
Kennedy made his name as an environmental lawyer, advocate and public speaker. His beliefs and populist political platform have faced tough scrutiny as he pursues the nation’s highest elected office as an independent candidate.
The 1960 presidential race between JFK and then-Vice President Richard Nixon is widely seen as the beginning of TV advertising as a force in politics. JFK’s effective use of the medium is seen as having been a big contributor to his victory in 1960. The Democratic National Committee hired San Francisco-based advertising agency Guild, Basrom & Bonfigli to steer the political messaging for then-Senator Kennedy.
Shortly after it aired, Kennedy family member Bobby Shriver took to X/Twitter to criticize his cousin’s ad:
My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle’s faces- and my Mother’s. She would be appalled by his deadly health care views. Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA. She strongly supported my health care work at @ONECampaign & @RED which he opposes.
— Bobby Shriver (@bobbyshriver) February 12, 2024
Watch RFK Jr.’s Super Bowl ad below.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) February 12, 2024
Watch the classic JFK campaign ad below.
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