"I thought I was good at hiding," says a somber, contemplative Bigfoot in this new political attack ad out of Minnesota. "And then Erik Paulsen comes along. I mean, how can you have tens of thousands of people looking for you all the time and not one of them find you? I started to wonder: Did Erik Paulsen really exist? I mean, where's the proof? Some blurry photo taken from miles away? I had to know. So I had to come up with a plan."
It gets even better from there, thanks to (spoiler alert) a stakeout in the lobby of a Big Pharma company.
The ad was shared today on YouTube and social media by Dean Phillips, an "independent-minded candidate for U.S. Congress" (per his Twitter bio) who wants to represent Minnesota's 3rd congressional district—which Republican Erik Paulsen has been doing since 2009. Phillips also describes himself as an "entrepreneur," which is perhaps a bit of an understatement. The lengthy bio on his official campaign website emphasizes his sensibility as a marketer, including during his time as CEO of Phillips Distilling Company, and then a partner at Talenti:
"Of the many successful brands our team created, Prairie Vodka is the one of which I'm most proud. Resulting from the collaboration of a co-op of farmers, three family-owned organic corn growers and Phillips Distilling, we created an entirely made-in-Minnesota product, from seed to glass, which has grown into the best-selling certified organic spirit in the world. ... After the untimely passing of my father in 2011 from multiple myeloma, I left Phillips Distilling to join a small gelato business in which he had invested. Together with my partners Josh Hochschuler and Steve Gill, we built Talenti into America's largest gelato brand and one of the best-selling ice creams in the country."
Master marketer Phillips, by the way, offers some context on the Bigfoot ad at erikpaulsen.org/bigfoot, which kicks off with this display copy:
We found Bigfoot.
But even Bigfoot can't find Erik Paulsen:
• Erik Paulsen went seven years without holding a single town hall meeting, and rarely appears in public.
• Erik Paulsen refuses to debate in open, public forums where voters can see him and ask questions.
• The only guaranteed way to meet Erik Paulsen is to pay $2,700 to join his "Eagle's Club" or offer him a $10,000 PAC check.
The idea was conceived probono by Patrick Hunt and Doug Adkins, who in their professional lives are CEO and CCO, respectively of Minnesota-based Hunt Adkins. Jim Stanger directed the film via Channel Z.