A suggestive ad by a rising American filmmaker in support of US President Barack Obama bears a striking resemblance to a series of risqué videos backing Vladimir Putin during his successful bid for the Russian presidency earlier this year.
The Obama ad, released online this week, features producer, writer and actress Lena Dunham delivering a double entendre laden endorsement of Obama in the Nov. 6 presidential election.
In the spot, Dunham, creator of the popular HBO series “Girls,” discusses the importance of choosing the right man for “the first time.”
"The first time shouldn't be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy,” she says.
Dunham says later in the video that she was happy her first time in 2008, when she cast her ballot for Obama.
The sexual subtext in the ad recalls a series of videos in support of Putin ahead of the Russian presidential election this past March. In one of those ads, a young woman lies on a couch and tells a man who appears to be her therapist that she is “very scared” of her first time.
The therapist reassures her that everyone feels that way the first time and that her choice is a man “one can believe in.” The camera pans to an issue of Time magazine with Putin’s face on the cover that peeks out of the woman’s handbag next to the couch.
She is then shown entering a polling station, presumably to cast her vote for the Russian leader.
“Putin: The first time should only be for love,” the ad concludes.
The magazine Foreign Policy first noted the thematic resemblance of the two ads on its blog Thursday, citing another—less overtly sexual—ad featuring a young woman, a fortune teller, and the Russian president on a tarot card.
Dunham could not be reached for comment on Friday on whether she had seen the Putin ads prior to releasing her ad in support of Obama in his race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.