Meet The Brains Behind Three Of The Most Memorable GOP Ads Of Election 2014

PHOTO: Americans for Shared Prosperity posted this ad, "AFSP Dating Profile," Sep 21, 2014.PlayAmericans for Shared Prosperity
WATCH Craziest Campaign Ads

The 2014 midterm elections produced a blizzard of political ads, but a precious few have broken through in a big way -- shaking up key races and attracting national attention.

ABC News spoke to three of the ad makers who masterminded the most talked about campaign commercials of this election cycle:

Larry McCarthy

PHOTO: Larry McCarthy created one of the most memorable political ads of the 2014 cycle. McCarthy Hennings Whalen, Inc.
Larry McCarthy created one of the most memorable political ads of the 2014 cycle.

The ad features a mother, Dr. Noelle Hunter, whose young daughter was kidnapped and taken to Mali by her father. The emotional spot shows Hunter looking directly at the camera and saying her marriage ended "after a dark period in my life." She does not mention that dark period included drug use, something she hasn’t shied away from talking about, but the ad does detail how involved McConnell was in her daughter Muna’s safe return.

“When you do political media you don’t often get a chance to tell a story like that, a significant part of a senator’s job is case work and you don’t often get a chance to put them on TV. You mostly see attack ads,” McCarthy said. “This was a great personal story told by a very charismatic person…an incredibly dramatic story, it was a cliffhanger of a movie and you don’t know how it was going to turn out until the end.”

This ad may feature Hunter, but McCarthy has worked with McConnell on other campaigns over the years and says the senate minority leader is better on camera when he’s “speaking with real people than reading a teleprompter.”

--Shushannah Walshe

Rick Wilson

PHOTO: Rick Wilson created one of the most memorable political ads of the 2014 cycle. Intrepid Media
Rick Wilson created one of the most memorable political ads of the 2014 cycle.

“We had to punch through the noise and the static, and the fact that [the slogan] has been effectively unopposed by Republicans,” he said.

The ad mimics the vocabulary of online dating profiles, with an Obama voter explaining her disillusionment with a man who made promises to her in 2008 and 2012 but has since broken them. She reveals the man — a guy named Barack, with an accompanying photo of Obama — and says, “I know I’m stuck with Barack for two more years…but I’m not stuck with his friends.”

The 60-second video, which Wilson calls “the most compelling ad I’ve ever done,” was based on “real womens’ insights into what would make this effective.”

“A lot of this came verbatim from research we did, from what real people were telling us,” he added.

--Noah Weiland

Brad Todd

PHOTO: Brad Todd created one of the most memorable political ads of the 2014 cycle. On Message, Inc.
Brad Todd created one of the most memorable political ads of the 2014 cycle.

The lively-back-and-forth in the ad captured Cotton “in his own skin,” Todd said. “It’s not advertising as much as pulling back the curtain.”

The ad, which became a viral hit, was successful because of its simplicity, the ad maker said.

“All you need for a country song is three chords and the truth,” Todd said. “Campaign ads are the same.”

--Ben Siegel