Carly’s Boxer Blimp

The Carly Fiorina campaign has released a follow-up to their much-lampooned “Demon Sheep” web video.  In this one, Barbara Boxer turns into a giant blimp because she’s full of hot air.  (Getcha popcorn ready, because it’s almost eight minutes long.)

Despite the ribbing from Fiorina’s primary opponents, ad maker Fred Davis claimed victory for the viral hit, pointing to its high number of YouTube views.  Davis might have a point.  The funny part of the Demon Sheep video – the campily costumed and Keds-clad sheep – came at the end, after the video had railed on fellow Republican candidate Tom Campbell’s fiscal street cred.  The Boxer Blimp wouldn’t attract nearly as much attention if it hadn’t been for its fluffy forefather.

Still, the video is as unfocused as it is comical and over the top.  The message shifts from the Senator being arrogant to incompetent to out of touch, and discusses taxes, environmental policy, financial restraint, national security, and Boxer’s personality with clumsy or non-existent segues.  The imagery is often uneven; at one point, the announcer accuses Boxer of being progressively “less and less effective” during her Senate tenure just as her image is smashing through the Capitol dome.

It does, however, tell a good story about Carly Fiorina – but unlike the Demon Sheep, the story comes after the CGI blimp attack.

But regardless of what anyone thinks of the style of the ads or how many viewers they attract, the one measure of effectiveness is at the polls.  That’s an area where Fiorina still lags behind.

(By the way, if you look closely, I’m pretty sure the shots of San Francisco include Alamo Square – more notably known as “Full House Hill” for its inclusion in the opening credits of the legendary and classic sitcom.)

Hunting Demon Sheep

The Chuck DeVore for Senate campaign has declared open season on Demon Sheep.  Visitors to demonsheep.org can squish, shear, crisp, or mock the ill-conceived star of a Carly Fiorina campaign video:

Aside from being a fun concept, the microsite does all the right things – it lets users share their demon sheep hunting with friends, and hits hunters up for small donations.

The original “Demon Sheep” web video was designed to distinguish Fiorina from GOP primary opponent Tom Campbell – casting Campbell as a FCINO, or “Fiscal Conservative in Name Only.”  The campy quasi-religious imagery a low-budget sheep costume that looks like it was a pilfered sample from a carpet store made for internet mockery.  But it also made for viral viewing, giving an audience for the negative points the video makes about Campbell.

Though the Demon Sheep video doesn’t mention DeVore, he’s doing his best to capitalize – and as Matt Lewis and I discussed weeks ago, DeVore’s campaign stands to gain the most if Fiorina and Campbell descend into a harshly negative campaign that damages both.

This effort can be successful in targeting conservative activists nationwide for support and donations.  The drawback for the DeVore folks is timing.  Demon Sheep is a month old, and while bizarre, the opportunity to latch onto the initial wave of coverage has long passed.

Fiscal conservatives are sheep. Some are demon sheep.

Carly Fiorina’s Senate campaign gets points for creativity – releasing a web video to make a detailed case against her primary opponent, Tom Campbell, that just couldn’t be made in a thirty second ad.  But whoever cut and approved this ad has done more harm than good:

Likening conservative primary voters to sheep is a bad idea on its own, but Fiorina’s folks take it a step farther with the “demon sheep” at the very end.  It’s funny, but in a so-bad-it’s-funny kind of way, which is a bad thing for a political ad in a charged primary.

Sure enough, the parodies have begun almost instantly, and they have been thorough.  You can follow the Demon Sheep on Twitter (@DemonSheep) and ask questions of the unholy beast.  Campbell is using the ad as fund raising fodder, and it has likely helped his name recognition among prospective non-California donors.

More important, the ad – and not the message the ad was trying to convey – is the subject of discussion and media coverage, some of it quite tongue-in-cheek.