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2012

Jon Huntsman’s Viral-Video Gambit

It turns out that Huntsman has hired the strategist who made the bizarre, viral "Demon Sheep" ad for Carly Fiorina: Republican image consultant Fred Davis is behind Huntsman's deliberately quirky campaign ads. The next installment, after the jump, was released today, and it's a little less grabby than the first one. This time, the scrolling text is an actually valuable-to-his-campaign bit of biodata, not a cryptic reference to Huntsman's high school band.

The videos don't exactly have the same deranged quality that made "Demon Sheep" go so viral, especially if they keep edging closer to traditional talking points, as it seems like they might. Still, Fiorina was a moderate trying to pull in a more rabidly conservative crowd, and Davis took that as a rather literal directive. Huntsman, meanwhile, is clearly betting that his strength relative to the rest of the field will come by playing up his moderate cred. He doesn't need to go quite so viral, he needs to send a certain kind of dog whistle. The video has an aesthetic vibe that's pitched at blue-state-type Republicans — or really, all blue-state types.

Jon Huntsman's Next Surreal Dirtbike Video [Atlantic Wire]

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