Yes, that infectious jingle you heard on your TV just before halftime at the Super Bowl was an ad endorsing Kennedy running for president, and it looked and sounded almost exactly as it did in 1960.
Super PAC that supported the presidential candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ran the ad, which was essentially a rerun of the ad endorsing Mr. Kennedy’s uncle, John F. Kennedy, in his 1960 presidential campaign. It features the same jingle, the same cheerful caricatures interspersed with candid photos of the candidates, with the younger Mr. Kennedy’s face embedded in them.
The PAC, American Values 2024, paid $7 million for the spot, said the PAC’s co-founder, Tony Lyons. It took about 36 hours to produce, he said.
Mr. Kennedy is running for president as an independent, after leaving the Democratic Party in October, claiming the Democratic primary system was rigged. His candidacy has worried many Democrats who fear that Mr. Kennedy — an environmental lawyer who has become a prominent purveyor of conspiracy theories — could draw votes away from President Biden.
The super PAC fueled suspicions about Mr. Kennedy’s base of support. A significant portion of the PAC’s funding, about $15 million, came from Timothy Mellon, a Republican who also gave $10 million to a super PAC supporting former President Donald J. Trump.
Super Bowl commercials often evoke nostalgia — Sunday night’s ads featured vintage Volkswagen shots, a “Scrubs” reunion and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Boston.
But Kennedy’s ad struck a different note. While John F. Kennedy ran in 1960 as a 43-year-old Democrat, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. he is 70 years old and ran as an independent – as he described himself. (Despite Mr. Kennedy’s age, the ad still portrays him as young and athletic, including a shot of him on skis.)
During his candidacy, Mr. Kennedy referred to his famous political family and its legacy. However, many of his relatives condemned him.
In July, the former president’s grandson, Jack Schlossberg, released a video calling his uncle’s campaign a “disgrace,” saying the younger Mr. Kennedy was “peddling Camelot, celebrity conspiracy theories and infighting for personal gain and fame.”
The Super Bowl ad received mixed reception on social media platform X. Ben Shapiro, a right-wing writer, called it “shockingly politically astute.”
Robert Shrum, a longtime Democratic political consultant who worked with former Senator Edward M. Kennedy, wrote: “This ad for RFK Jr. The Super Bowl is a direct plagiarism of the JFK ad from 1960. What a fraud — and to quote Lloyd Bentsen with a slight amendment: ‘Bobby, you’re not John Kennedy.’ Instead, you are a Trump ally.”