It probably isn’t accurate to say that Herman Cain’s web advertisements have gotten “increasingly” bizarre. Pretty much all of his new ads have been like that recently, to the point where the argument he’s making about bloated government seems to get obscured by a horror-movie aesthetic.
So, in the same vein as the “dying goldfish” or “rabbit getting catapulted” shock ads, Cain’s team released a new video showing a farmer feeding his chickens some seed, only to be eaten alive by the fowl. The farmer is the taxpayer and the chickens are the “big government” who attacks him until nothing is left of the poor guy (a skeleton hand is seen at the end of the ad). Watch out for the government: it may just peck you to death, etc.
While horror spots that hit their audience with a hammer are a staple in political campaigns (see: Rick Santorum’s dystopian “Welcome to Obamaville” spots or the years-old Carly Fiorina “Demon Sheep” ad), it’s debatable whether or not they’re as effective as, say, cleverly retooled gaffes that rely more on humor than dread. Or maybe the idea that voters are swayed with a laugh or two is just wishful thinking on our part.
Anyway, it’s pointless complaining about the the Cain ads. Provocative is the point. The ex-presidential contender figured as much himself. “Because it gets your attention,” Cain reportedly remarked about why he’s chose these spots. “We live in a 24/7 information overload society and if I went out there with namby-pamby ads to drive home a point, nobody would notice.”