The Republicans are Invading Minnesota: One Agency Hopes to Prepare the Locals

By Matt Van Hoven 

I’m heading back to Minnesota tomorrow for a much anticipated event, my annual family reunion. It also happens to coincide with the Republican National Convention, immediately before which Sen. John McCain is expected to announce his veep. Hopefully on that day, I’ll be far from the radio and deep into a case of Miller Lite. There will be cigars, brats, whiskey, and bug spray containing deet. That’s right.

To “honor” this “sacred” event, Minneapolis (woot) based Campbell Mithun has put together a sweet little campaign asking locals to get ready for the Repubs’ arrival. “Make an Effort” is funny, poignant, and definitely unconventional. You may not like it, but I don’t really care.


Check out the videos (above and after the jump), and consider this your Friday inspiration. Click continued. Click it now. Do it.

Minnesotans will undoubtedly recognize the Wally the Beerman poster and the spot that refers to the Cherry-and-Spoon artwork. Wally has been serving beers at Twins and St. Paul Saints (triple A team) games since the dawn of time, and never once has he carried a martini. But to make an effort for the repubs…he does just that.

Another image is taken from inside the Gopher Bar; it’s down the street from the church I used to go to, and the full service car wash place. It’s a staple stop for all loyal Gopher fans, and I’ve spent many Saturday afternoons swigging beers and eating hot dogs, listening to owner George Kappas swear. He makes the best Coney Island, ever, and his girlfriend (now wife, I believe) serves with a style and grace reserved only for middle-aged overweight former smokers with a high regard for jokes containing Brett Favre or Sven, Ole (and sometimes Lena).

The one thing you won’t see in the CM poster that you will see in the bar are the hand written notes that hang on the walls and read, “No Fucking Credit Cards.” I guess they didn’t want to scare anyone off. Parker would love it, although his accent might get lost in the thick Minnesotan ohs and ehs that pervade conversation.

Minnesota is by and far liberal. Even when you get outside the Twin City limits, the Democratic Farm Labor party remains a powerful force. Back in Minneapolis, you’ll find more ad agencies per capita than any city in the country. OK, I made that up, but I’m pretty sure that’s a legit assertion. Furthermore, colleges like Hamline, St. Catherine’s (St. Kate’s), the U of M, St. Thomas (less so), Augsburg and Macalester keep the metro area free-thinking, progressive, smart.

People seem to think that because Minnesota is cold, all the intelligent, creative, well versed humans would be too smart to stay. I’ve found the exact opposite. Smart people stay in Minnesota because of the invention of central heating &#151 and the common knowledge that the state’s chilly perception won’t change. That’s a good thing, because there won’t be a bunch of idiots flocking there anytime soon, like in LA, Miami etc. Like Atlantis, Minnesota is an isolated island, and it’s happy to stay that way.


(Ed’s note: We’re not 100 percent sure that the bar poster is Gopher Bar, but if the hundreds of beers we’ve had there are any indicator, we’ve got the right place in mind.)