Carly Fiorina would like to become the first Republican senator from California in quite a while. But before she goes up against Barbara Boxer, she has to knock off moderate Tom Campbell in the primary. Thus Carly Fiorina has unleashed a Demon Sheep ad.
The Demon Sheep ad is causing as much comment in political circles as did the Bear in the Woods ad that Ronald Reagan used to help put away Walter Mondale 25 years ago. Running just shy of three and a half minutes, the Demon Sheep ad is stuff full of points against Tom Campbell.
The sheep imagery is used a little bit like an old Monty Python sketch, with a combination of shots of sheep in the field, some animation, and then some guy crawling around in sheep’s clothing, but with glowing, red eyes. The metaphor is rather obvious, that Tom Campbell is not what he says he is, which is fiscally conservative.
The only caveat we would offer is to question whether sheep are really the metaphor one might use for fiscal conservatives? Mind, one can see the necessity of shoe horning in the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” aspect.
Interspersed with the sheep images, the ominous music, the dire tone of the narrator, is the information about Tom Campbell, fiscal conservative who seems, at least according to the Carly Fiorina Campaign, to be addicted to high taxes and profligate spending. Thus the Demon Sheep ad is a choice combination of reasoned argument driven home by scary images in an attempt to take down Tom Campbell. If the ad is to be believed, Tom Campbell has all but pushed the State of California into the sea in his efforts to destroy that state.
National Review’s Jim Geraghty thinks that the Demon Sheep ad is psychedelic and “genius.” Others tend to disagree, but I do think Geraghty’s impression of the end, with the Demon Sheep coming up menacingly is choice. “That sheep is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until . . . BAAAAH.”
The purpose of an ad is to be two fold. First the ad has to be memorable, something that will stick in one’s mind even hours after first seeing it. Second, it has to be memorable in the right way, imparting the intended message. From the Demon Sheep ad, one gets the impression that either Tom Campbell is a tax and spend liberal or else (or even also) he is a Demon Sheep come to kill us all. Either way, good commercial.
Source: This May Be the Greatest Campaign Web Video of All Time, Jim Geraghty, National Review Online, February 3rd, 2010