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Senate candidate Mike McFadden’s ‘groin gate’ ad named best of summer

Time.com credits the ad for “nailing” image of McFadden as an All-American dad. 

The Mike McFadden U.S. Senate campaign has made lemonade from lemons with its latest ad, which shows the Republican coaching youth football. 

Despite the fact that the ad has drawn snickers for apparently showing McFadden taking a hit to the groin from one his young players (and quickly dubbed “groin gate” on social media), Time.com named it one of the six best political ads of the summer.

“He nails the all-American dad image with this advertisement, and when you are running against comedian-turned-senator Al Franken, it’s always good to be funny,” the magazine noted.

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McFadden communications director Tom Erickson acknowledged the controversy about the alleged groin hit even while maintaining that the ad depicts a hit to the stomach. McFadden’s Facebook page shows a dozen comments, positive and negative, though Erickson didn’t deny a report in Buzzfeed that early negative comments about the ad had been taken down. 

“As with everything in life, there’s going to be something some people don’t like,” he said.  “We’re just happy to talk about Mike’s background.” McFadden has been coaching the Mendota Heights Youth Athletic Association for 13 years.

The ad, created by Something Else Strategies, an agency based in Washington, D.C., will continue running this week statewide in what Erickson called a “significant six-figure buy.” 

Erickson suggested that future ads would continue with a light-hearted approach to the campaign, similar to the ads that Bill Hillsman created for Jesse Ventura in the 1998 governor’s race.

“We’re getting a lot of feedback, especially when people remember the 2008 [Al Franken-Norm Coleman] Senate campaign that got so nasty so quick,” he said.  “We’ll continue to show the light hearted side that you don’t see too much from politicians.”