Is Carly Fiorina the next Scott Brown?

The Carly Fiorina campaign has answered a question politics and tech bloggers have been asking of themselves for months: How will campaigns used location-based social networks?

Fiorina’s camp launched a location-based check-in iPhone app that lets users earn points checking in to rallies and other campaign events.  This is just a few days after Fiorina’s use of text messaging and a mobile-based phone bank system drew positive media coverage.  And, even though the story glosses over it just a bit, it’s worth noting that Fiorina’s app targets college students – an important piece of strategy, given that the general population is still getting used to mobile applications.

Earlier in the year, Scott Brown’s Massachusetts Miracle campaign was lauded for its use of remote phone banks and hyper-local online ads to identify key supporters and topple the ghost of Ted Kennedy.  If Fiorina pulls off a victory that would have been unthinkable a year ago, you can bet in the days after November 2 the interblogs will buzz about her online strategy.

It’s certainly a far cry from the Demon Sheep.

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.)