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GOP Ad Guru Explains O'Donnell's "I'm Not a Witch" Ad, "Demon Sheep" Spot

Most of us may not know the name Fred Davis, but most of us know Christine O'Donnell's infamous "I'm not a witch" and Carly Fiorina's "Demon Sheep" ads. As the founder of Strategic Perception Inc., Davis and his team have led the pack with this year's most memorable campaign ads.

On Wednesday's Washington Unplugged, Davis spoke with CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante and told him it's about how to message each ad,

"In the case of Christine O'Donnell, it was that she is not remotely or anything you've heard about in the past," he said. "In the case of Barbara Boxer, it was maybe that her time is up, maybe that she was full of hot air."

Davis added, "We just try to find a way that is really memorable to get those points across."

Plante asked Davis how he and his team are able to create so many ads that stand out from all the rest in such a media-centric culture.

"Look at what's on the air right now," Davis responded. "There are thousands and thousands of political ads, and yet for some reason, you asked me to be here. And I think the reason you asked me to be here is that our ads somehow stood out from those thousands."

Davis ads have become viral sensations, giving candidates a way to make a larger impact on voters. From California Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina's "Hot Air" ad to Ben Quayle's "President Obama is the worst president in history" spot, Davis ads are reaching millions without the expense of extra air time.

Davis sees that as a bonus. "We try to expand the value for every dollar that our candidates have to raise," he said. "We try to get you more miles for your dollar, I guess. We don't ever start our and say 'this ad might go viral.' But we think if we do a really good job on an ad that stands out on its own, that maybe it will end up going viral. It's sort of the cherry on top."

Critics have said Davis trades in both facts and shock value, and while Davis agrees, he says the facts end up taking center stage.

"I think the shock factor is there to get you to notice it, and then we give you the facts," he said. "Demon Sheep, what was the fact? [Fiorina's primary challenger] Tom Campbell wasn't as conservative as he said he was. That fact got across crystal clear, and look at the final election. We get the facts in as well, we just try to get your attention and get you to remember it first."

In the end, Davis is a true ad man and told Plante, "Every advertiser, the number one goal is to get your message across, but it's also to get people to remember it."

Watch Wednesday's Washington Unplugged above, also featuring "Gerrymandering" director Jeff Reichert and this week's "Flash Points" with CBS News senior national security analyst Juan Zarate.

"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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