An 8-minute campaign ad on a Carly Fiorina campaign Website paints California Senator Barbara Boxer as an elitist, unproductive, high-taxing, high-spending windbag — a full-of-hot-air blimp — then boosts Fiorina as a hard-working and fiscally-wise woman-of-the-people who saved Hewlett-Packard as is “known for getting things done”.
The movieis are by Fred Davis — who previously morphed Barack Obama into Paris Hilton and recently cast Tom Campbell into a demon sheep in Campbell’s primary contest against Fiorina, and Rick Snyder as “one tough nerd” in his run for governor of Michigan.
In his latest effort, released over the weekend, Davis pictures two women — “One who has spent her career in high technology, who can helped us develop the vital the jobs of the future, or one who has spent the last 30 years as a career politician, doing so little. A problem solver, a problem causer. One who is calm and confident, or one who is [as nails scratch a blackboard-like surface] well, not so much. One who has accomplished so much, or one who has accomplished so shockingly little.”
A glance at Boxer’s Website on Sunday suggests she’s not yet up to Fiorina’s challenge as laid down by Davis’ ad.
Perhaps the message in all the attention the edgy ads are getting is that in the Age of Information Overload, the only way for a politician to get attention — short of running naked through the town square — is often to try to be more dramatic, even more silly, than the last guy or gal.
“We need to use all the communication tools we have to not only inform but to excite,” said Mark Standriff, communications director of the California Republican Party. “What better way to get the delegates motivated than to have a vibrant, visceral presentation that gets them fired up and ready to take charge?”
Davis, the Hollywood creator of the demon sheep and blimp ads, was asked where he got his ideas.
“I’m insane,” he told a Mercury News reporter with a laugh.
The other day, Chuck Todd of NBC News rated two of Davis’ ads the best of the political cycle: the demon sheep ad and one done for Rick Snyder, the former CEO of Gateway Computers running for governor in Michigan. The message in the ad: “He’s one terrific nerd.”
Edgy ads can be dangerous, though.
The decidedly unglitzy Campbell, the former Silicon Valley congressman running against Fiorina, said the demon sheep ad drove up his poll and fundraising numbers.