After almost two weeks of teaser trailers, it was time for the feature presentation. On Tuesday, Jon Huntsman officially announced his intent to run as a Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential election, and accompanying the Utah Governor’s Reagan-esque announcement was the lengthy conclusion to the Fred Davis-directed video series.
The video opens up to long, panoramic shots of Navajo Tribal Park, where Davis and Huntsman’s team filmed the series in early May, building on the theme of “America from 10,000” miles. It certainly is a different … perspective.
Almost three-minutes long, the video covers much of the same literal ground as the previous shorts, although this time it’s accompanied by a narrator whose chat-you-up ease explains Huntsman’s “new, fresh perspective as seen from afar.” In reminding voters of the candidate’s “unconventional” credentials, Huntsman’s rock band past is once again mentioned, as is the fact that he speaks “Mandarin, Chinese and Hokkien … whatever that is.”
Huntman’s name is never mentioned. And strangely enough, the video is nearly devoid in pronouns, as if it’s a script written by Raymond Carver and Gordon Lish. “He” comes up twice, “his” about five times. The whole video ends with what could become a great or painful tagline: “This guy’s different.”
While Huntsman’s speech at Liberty State Park in New Jersey was fairly standard by politicians terms, his digital campaign is certainly off to a big start — upon the announcement, Huntsman’s formerly sparse website transformed into a splashy user-friendly interactive experience. That was before it briefly shut down, presumably because of the massive traffic it was receiving.
As for the parodies of the series that have begun to pop up — Rick Santorum and the Utah State Democratic Committee both have them — they don’t seem to bother Davis, who told reporters that the immediately recognizable theme music was also his creation.
“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery,” he said.