So much is made about politicians "kissing babies", giving their "thumbs up" at crowds in school halls and playing patriotic music during your promotional video.
But having your chief of staff take a drag of a cigarette and blow smoke into a camera? That would get laughed out of the room. But the strategy has made Republican candidate Herman Cain an overnight sensation propelling him to poll leader for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
The video was so cheap and cheesy that many speculated it to be a fake, but the Cain campaign confirmed it was authentic.
Advisors of the Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, who have both led at other points during the campaign, will be scratching their heads wondering how on earth such a video could have appealed to so many Republican voters.
"It got watched, so it worked," said Mark McKinnon, a former communications strategist for George W. Bush, said of the Cain video. "The message: We are different and don't play by the rules," he said.
The video arrives as Cain, a former pizza company executive, continues to maintain his status atop or near the top of the polls. A new CBS/New York Times poll showed Cain in first place in the multi-candidate field with 25 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney follows with 21 percent.
Michele Bachmann loses campaign team
The only female runner for the Republican nomination, Michele Bachmann, appears to have lost momentum just weeks before the first primaries in January 2012.
Her state campaign team based in New Hampshire, a vitally important state to win in the primaries, have all resigned after infighting with Bachmann's national campaign team who allegedly "cruel" and "dismissive" to the locally based outfit.
Bachmann, still hoping to ride the wave of Tea Party energy, will attempt to dismiss the resignations as quickly as possible as she aims to claw back points from her Republican rivals before the primary on January 10.