Jon Huntsman's campaign has performed below expectations in both fundraising and poll numbers, but there is one area where the former Utah governor has exceeded predictions: his entertaining Web videos.

Over the past few weeks the former Utah governor's campaign has ramped up its multimedia efforts, releasing a serious of videos online that have earned a lot of views, if not a lot of support.


The ads have gained attention for the creative shots they take at other Republican presidential candidates who place higher in the polls. 

The Huntsman campaign hoped to benefit from a video produced by Herman Cain's campaign that featured the businessman's chief of staff speaking directly to the camera and smoking. The quirky ad went viral and Cain's campaign received a flood of donations soon after.

One Huntsman video features a splitscreen with a toy mechanical monkey doing flips one one side and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on the other, a reference to charges of Romney changing his positions when it's politically convenient. Another video uses a phrase Huntsman coined in a recent interview in which he called Romney a "well lubricated weather vane."

The advantage to producing these ads is also that they're cheap, an important point for Huntsman's campaign, which has struggled with fundraising.

"Our budget is zero. We're trying to do it as cost effective as possible. There's no heavy production on any of these," a Huntsman campaign staffer said. "They're not expensive."

It's not clear how much of a dent the videos will make in the sizable obstacles keeping Huntsman from the GOP nomination.

Chris Ingram, a Florida-based Republican political consultant, calls the ads strong, but says they might not be enough.

"I think it's a little too little, too late," Ingram said.

Ingram said even if the ads catch on, the real problem for Huntsman is rallying donors in New Hampshire around him rather than Romney.

"You can't win a presidential primary or the nomination for the party on a shoestring budget," Ingram said.

Huntsman has always been able to get attention from the media — when he left his position as President Obama's ambassador to China, stories about his coming candidacy dominated the news cycle — but he has still struggled to gain traction in the polls and has had to retool his campaign accordingly.

A Time magazine/CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll taken in late October found Huntsman at 6 percent, trailing behind Romney (40 percent), Herman Cain (13 percent) and Texas Rep. Ron Paul (13 percent). Another poll conducted by Insider Advantage/Majority Opinion Research and the conservative Newsmax magazine found Huntsman at 4.5 percent, behind Romney (38.5 percent), Cain (24.2 percent), Paul (11.1 percent), Minnesota Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannGillibrand becomes latest candidate scrutinized for how she eats on campaign trail Trump will give State of Union to sea of opponents Yes, condemn Roseanne, but ignoring others is true hypocrisy MORE (5.4 percent) and Newt Gingrich (5.2 percent).

Those polls were all taken prior to the weathervane ad, the first in the series of catchy Web videos, so it's unclear what impact, if any, the new media campaign might have.

The most recent Huntsman ad of the five produced so far — released on Monday, "Scared Mittless" — hits Romney for refusing to give straight answers. The Huntsman campaign says it plans to produce a couple ads like that each week.

"Part of these videos is an attempt to frame that narrative as well as draw more attention to the fact that Mitt Romney's been on every side of every issue," the Huntsman staffer said. "As soon as a video is done we're constantly thinking of what our next opportunity could be. … Today the jobs numbers came out and we wanted to do something on the jobs plan and the governor. So we think of what's being covered and what is being discussed and what voters are thinking of at the time."

Huntsman's campaign says there are more ads like these on the way.

"I do think we've been more focused on video that's shareable," Huntsman campaign press secretary Tim Miller said.

Miller noted that when Huntsman first jumped into the race, his campaign featured an ad with a voice-over and dirt bike rider plowing through the desert (one of Huntsman's hobbies includes riding motorcycles and dirt bikes).

Perhaps the most distinctive of all the ads the campaign has recently produced, though, was one not entirely sanctioned by the campaign. After Cain's "smoking" ad took off, three of Huntsman's daughters released a spoof, which got a fair amount of attention of its own. 

Time magazine's Nick Carbone wrote an item titled "Jon Huntsman's Daughters Perfectly Spoof Herman Cain's Smoking Ad" and The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza wrote in an item for the magazine's "Talk of the Town" section this week that the girls' ad was "on virtually every cable news channel." Similarly, New York magazine's Dan Amira wrote that Huntsman's campaign has released "some really great online ads."

The Huntsman campaign was quick to praise the ad, but also stressed it was the girls' own creation, not something the campaign produced.

"They have been very creative and fun with coming up with new ways to spread that option online in a viable fashion," Miller said. "We're supportive of that but it's not an official campaign video."

Huntsman himself admitted that the ad was more effective than some of his more serious speeches.

"You know, you give a major foreign policy speech. It goes up on YouTube and you get five hits," Huntsman said in an interview with Yahoo and ABC News on Tuesday. "If my daughters do this corny ad, they put it out there, it gets half a million hits and it goes viral. And I say, 'I begin to understand it.' The political landscape is changing in terms of how you communicate and get your message out there."

Even if Huntsman's ads do catch on and start to lift him up in both fundraising and the polls, serious questions remain about his campaign's future. Ingram says that if Huntsman is able to win a first, second, or third place showing in New Hampshire he could still have a chance in the race, but if not, his campaign is probably over.

"I think if it's beyond a very close third it's over for Huntsman, but if he's able to do that he'll be the talk of the nation over the next day," Ingram said.

Huntsman himself has refused to even entertain the idea that he wouldn't perform well in New Hampshire. He recently said that not performing well in the Granite State is "not an option."