For many Super Bowl Sunday viewers, the commercials are as much of a draw as the game itself.
People who tuned in this year saw an ad that looked like it came straight from the 1960s—because it did.
Super PAC American Values 2024 copied or stole elements of a 1960s campaign ad for President John F. Kennedy to promote Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—son of former Attorney General and assassinated Democratic presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy and nephew of JFK.
You can see the ad here:
However, it seems no one bothered to check with the rest of the Kennedys about using images of their family members for the ad, which reportedly cost $7 million.
One Kennedy cousin let his displeasure be known on social media.
Bobby Shriver—whose mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver's image appeared in the ad—posted on X:
"My cousin’s Super Bowl ad used our uncle’s faces—and my Mother’s."
"She would be appalled by his deadly health care views."
"Respect for science, vaccines, & health care equity were in her DNA.
"She strongly supported my health care work at [ONE Campaign] & [RED] which he opposes."
The organizations Shriver mentioned work to counter healthcare inequity which includes vaccination.
ONE is a "global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty & preventable disease by 2030, so everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity." RED's mission statement says "preventable and treatable diseases are only preventable and treatable for some. (RED) works to end that injustice."
In response to Shriver's post, RFK Jr. claimed he had no control or connection to the ad.
"Bobby. I’m so sorry if that advertisement caused you pain."
"The ad was created and aired by the American Values Superpac without any involvement or approvals from my campaign."
"Federal rules prohibit Superpacs from consulting with me or my staff. I send you and your family my sincerest apologies. God bless you."
The independent candidate apologized to all the other family members whose relatives were exploited in the ad.
In a second X post, RFK Jr. wrote:
"I'm so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain."
"The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff."
"I love you all. God bless you."
The Kennedy family have been vocally opposed to RFK Jr.'s anti-vaxxer misinformation and conspiracy theories for years.
It's not just the cousins who are critical of RFK Jr.'s anti-vaxxer agenda.
In May 2019, RFK Jr.'s own siblings—Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Joseph P. Kennedy II—and his niece—Maeve Kennedy McKean—wrote in an op-ed for Politico:
"He has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines."
On Sunday, X users found RFK Jr.'s mea culpas and excuses about the ad insincere.
At the time of his apology posts, he happily had the ad pinned on his X account.
American Values 2024 decided to use a JFK campaign jingle in their copycat ad.
The lyrics include:
"A man who’s old enough to know and young enough to do. Well, it’s up to you, it’s up to you. It’s strictly up to you!"
JFK's youth was a major issue during his campaign with many critics saying 43 was too young to be President.
However, RFK Jr. is 70-years-old.