'Creepy Uncle Sam' returns! Will Halloween ad scare Millennials off Obamacare? (+video)(Read article summary)
Creepy Uncle Sam, a creation of a conservative political activist group, is meant to scare young adults away from enrolling in Obamacare. Now he's appearing in a Halloween-themed spooktacular.
Creepy Uncle Sam is back! And this time, he’s starring in a Halloween-themed spooktacular that’s meant to scare young adults away from enrolling in Obamacare.
Oh, you’re not familiar with Creepy Uncle Sam’s body of work? We’ll step back a bit and fill you in: He’s an actor who wears an Uncle Sam suit and an oversize, grinning head that makes him look like a freaky, patriotic garden gnome. The character is a creation of Generation Opportunity, a conservative political activist group aimed at the Millennial Generation.
He debuted in September in two ads: Creepy Uncle Sam appears at a crucial moment in health examinations, scaring the young folk who are about to be subject to that. The point was to emphasize Generation Opportunity’s belief that the Affordable Care Act injects too much government into the health-care marketplace.
Critics complained the treatment was so heavy-handed that the ads might have the effect of turning young people away from conservatives. For instance, in one ad Creepy Uncle Sam, snapping a speculum, approaches a young woman in an examination room. In another, he approaches a young man under similar circumstances, while snapping a rubber glove.
Creepy, yes. Also widely viewed. These two ads have been seen a combined 3.5 million times on YouTube. Their number of thumbs-down “dislikes” on the site outnumbers their “likes” by about 25 percent.
The just-released sequel to these efforts might be called “Creepy Uncle Sam 2: This Time, He Wants Your Candy.” It is longer and features a more complicated plot than the original videos.
It opens with a young man named Chad who's watching a horror movie at home, alone. An ad comes on in which a mustachioed hard-sell artist pushes Obamacare. The ad gets louder. Chad can’t turn it off! He pulls the plug on his TV. Then the doorbell rings ...