A video to promote the fledgling campaign of a Democratic hopeful in Virginia is going viral -- but for all the wrong reasons.
The awkward footage shows Dan Helmer, who is running for the U.S. House, doing a parody of the bar scene from “Top Gun.” In the film, Maverick (Tom Cruise) sings “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” to Charlie (Kelly McGillis) and the entire bar joins in.
In the ad, Helmer sings “You’ve Lost That Centrist Feelin’,” supposedly to Republican incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock.
This guy in the crowd seems to sum up viewer reaction to the whole thing:
The Washington Post called the video “cringe-worthy.” Slate described it as “the worst ad of the 2018 elections.” And Esquire challenged its readers to “try to make it through this entire ad without cringing.” Social media users largely shared that sentiment:
Dan, I like you. This is...not a good ad. Please fire whoever thought it was. If it was you, take a vacation.— Will Henline (@WillHenline) September 18, 2017
Is this an SNL skit?— Shrendan Banahan (@ShrendanBanahan) September 19, 2017
As an opponent of the GOP I plead with you. Dump this ad. It's embrassing and insulting.— Jonesing (@RJonesing) September 18, 2017
We want you to win. This won't do it.
Paul R Nelson: I have created the worst Congressional ads ever. Nobody will top them.— Brandon Finnigan (@B_M_Finnigan) September 18, 2017
Dan Helmer: challenge accepted https://t.co/EbaGCeoBJX?ncid=edlinkushpmg00000313
You must be co-writing a new Hillary Clinton book titled "How Lose Elections"— D. Jones (@SteelDan86) September 19, 2017
Dear god why would you do this to yourself.— Richard (@renuvian) September 18, 2017
Dan Helmer's ad started off weird, then became awkward, disturbing, and now I'm upset I watched the damn thing. Very bizarre ad— Debن (@deblessings) September 19, 2017
So bad it's actually good— Heather Foglio (@winterpersists) September 18, 2017
From a PR view this ad is pretty awesome. Nobody had heard of Dan Helmer before today.— Alexandra Halaby (@iskandrah) September 18, 2017
I love Barbara Comstock, but, full disclosure, I legit really love the Dan Helmer ad.— Kristy Campbell (@kristymcampbell) September 18, 2017
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.