It's hard to get a campaign ad noticed these days unless it involves someone dressed like a sheep or smoking a cigarette for no reason. It's especially hard if you're Jon Huntsman, and people can barely even remember that you're running for president to begin with. But while nobody was paying attention — aside from people who blog about politics for a living — the Huntsman campaign has been releasing some really great online ads. The best of them have one theme in common: They're all scathing attacks on Mitt Romney, the man Huntsman hopes to beat in New Hampshire. The ads are slickly produced, and deeply negative without seeming malicious, which can be a tough combination to pull off.
The most recent ad, released yesterday, splices footage of Romney jogging with clips related to his avoidance of the press — the takeaway being that Romney is literally running away from media accountability.
Huntsman's previous ads focused on Mitt "Most Consistent Human Being Ever" Romney's propensity to backtrack and alter his positions. First, Mitt was compared to a back-flipping monkey toy.
And then, to a perfectly lubricated (shudder) weather vane:
"Weathervane" and "Backflip," which were released in late October, have only been viewed 22,216 and 29,518 times on YouTube, respectively. In contrast, Herman Cain's smoking ad, which made no sense and was essentially pointless, has 1,536,774 views, plus countless cable TV replays. Unfortunately for Huntsman, it's not the quality of an ad that makes it go viral. It's something weird, or hilarious, that makes people want to share it. We know Huntsman is trying to be all "serious" and "presidential" and "not a clown," but still, he might try sprinkling a little virality (?) into these ads, just so someone actually sees them.