Does art imitate life? Voters may soon find out. The Former Secretary of Security during the last part of the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration, Sergio Berni, launched his campaign for the upcoming primary elections this weekend with an ad spot that postures his face alongside the unscrupulous protagonist of the Netflix original series, House of Cards, Frank Underwood. The ad spot was posted on Twitter and Facebook early Sunday morning.
The candidate, who served between 2010 and 2015, posted the 20-second clip on social networking sites where the show’s main character, Frank Underwood, shows a photo of Berni to his wife Claire. In the video, the face of Underwood — played by Kevin Spacey — fuses with Berni’s, as viewers are invited to watch the morphing process.
— Sergio Berni (@SergioBerniArg) June 4, 2017
Arguably the ad’s strangest feature is when Frank Underwood says to Claire, in a distorted faux-North American voice-over “I present our candidate [for the primaries].” Claire responds, “Excellent, I also prefer Berni.”
Sergio Berni wraps things up on camera saying “they have already chosen.” The end of the video shows an image of the Kirchner’s former Security of Security with a superimposed message that reads again reads, “I prefer Berni.”
While Netflix has long withheld figures about how many people view their content, House of Cards is a seen by many as a huge hit with international audiences. In China, more than 24.5 million people watched the show’s second season. And in the US, five million people watched the fifth season within a week of its release. Some are questioning whether Berni’s campaign is trying to use House of Cards’ international popularity as a way to hone in on younger voters. We will leave that to you to decide.
To be fair, Berni’s ad is not the first time the controversial Underwood team has been used to convey a a real life political message. Netflix itself seems more than happy to run with this trend. The company commissioned a local street artist to paint a mural in Palermo in May with the show’s protagonist and his wife saying “Vote Underwood.”
It’s not yet clear whether the ad spot will have the desired effect, but voters will have the chance to prove Berni critics wrong at the polls in August.