Ken Bone Gets a Second Shot at His 15 Minutes by Telling Americans to Vote in This Izod Ad

He and the red sweater tour Washington, D.C.

Headshot of Marty Swant

Ken Bone, America's favorite mustached-man-turned-meme of the 2016 presidential campaign, has teamed up with the very brand that made him famous in the first place—Izod.

The Belleville, Ill., resident became an internet celebrity this month after he asked a question of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at their debate in St. Louis while wearing a bright red half-zip Izod sweater.

The sweater, his mild manner and the sight of him snapping pics with a disposable camera at the debate quickly made him the man of the night. 

A new video begins at Bone's house where he puts on his glasses, grabs one of about a dozen identical red Izod sweaters off its hanger and pins on a button that simply reads, "Vote." Soon, he's posing for selfies outside the U.S. Capitol, using another disposable camera to take photos of the Lincoln Memorial and talking to dozens of fans while spreading the good news of democracy.

"I don't think I'm going to continue to be internet famous forever," Bone says. "That's not my expectation." 

The two-minute spot says nothing about Izod until the very end, but instead puts its focus on Bone, his unexpected celebrity status and the responsibility he feels to get people out to vote. (The video was released early Thursday on YouTube, soon after the third and final presidential debate ended.)

Izod throwing Bone a bone might come as a surprise. Days after earning the nation's affection, Bone lost some of his mojo while hosting an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit when another user discovered disturbing comments he'd posted on Reddit in the past related to pornography and the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Izod isn't the first brand to partner with Bone. Last week, he became Uber's pitchman for UberSELECT in St. Louis. In the Izod video, Bone—whose fame is still less than two weeks old—is self-aware enough to realize his 15 minutes of fame won't last forever.

"When it's over, it's over," he says. "And I'm happy to have played my role."

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@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.
Publish date: October 20, 2016 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT