Smoking Man: Political Ads That Shaped the Battle for the White House

In the 2012 Republican primary, Herman Cain’s campaign produced an unusual video featuring Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block, giving a pep talk while smoking a cigarette.

The spot stands as a forerunner to anti-establishment mood that dominates today’s politics as well as the effectiveness of the fast, low-cost speed of communications today. This series of mini documentaries on ads that changed the political landscape was created in partnership with NBC News.

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  • Producer: Matthew Spolar
  • Editor: John MacGibbon