This is not a real campaign ad, but it made a bit of a splash in the Kentucky Senate race anyway. Here's how. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell released an online video that was simply unscripted footage of himself in various positive settings: smiling to the camera, smiling as he talks with women (a keenly contested voter demographic), smiling with his wife, signing documents, and smiling again. What was the point? Well, this provided free tape that outside groups could readily borrow for pro-McConnell ads.
He's not the only candidate to do this, but in this case, it inspired an Internet meme known as #McConnelling. People paired the images with soundtracks of their own choosing, including the Barry Manilow hit “Can’t Smile Without You.” Whether it influenced the election or not, this Mitch-meets-Manilow video had racked up nearly 80,000 views by Election Day.