With the January 3 Iowa Caucus rapidly approaching Mike
Huckabee is surging. The Washington Post-ABC News Poll
has the formerly second tier candidate in a statistical dead heat with
front-runner Mitt Romney. While the numbers for the other candidates are more
or less solid, Huckabee’s have increased dramatically. The undecideds are
deciding for Mike, despite the fact that Romney continues to massively outspend
Huckabee in targeted TV. How is Huckabee doing it?
By being an authentic Hero.
In The Elements of Persuasion we define HERO as the person
who provides us with a point of view that allows us to make a story our own.
Particularly when we are looking for a Presidential Hero we aren’t looking for
a tough guy who has all the answers. If
we were it would be Giuliani’s swagger that was surging. We want more than
that. We want someone we can trust – someone who is like us, but just a little
This “I’m one of you” approach is captured in Huckabee’s new
ad “Chuck Norris Approved”. Check it out.
Instead of a standard celebrity endorsement it alternates
Huckabee and Norris saying nice things about each other. It is hard to tell
whether it is an ad for “Huckabee for President” or “Chuck Norris for Sheriff”.
Norris’ best line? “A life long hunter Mike Huckabee will protect our Second
Amendment Rights” When Chuck says it, we buy it totally. Our favorite Huckabee
line? “There is no chin under Chuck Norris’ beard, only another fist.” We’re
not even sure what it means but somehow it really works.
By establishing himself as a Chuck Norris fan Huckabee is
making himself equal to all the other Chuck Norris fans out there, and Norris
has a lot of fans. Being able to harness that sense of equality is any Hero’s
greatest asset. This ad is good-natured, a little wacky, and brilliant.