The hidden message behind election advertising

9 May

Election road signs and posters

The world of advertising has undergone a seismic shift as everyone knows. Non-traditional and integrated approaches, both for getting attention and converting it into business, is where we operate.

For some reason, however, our politicians and the machines behind them remain swept up in a love affair with same old. It’s still 1950.

Sure, some candidates are on Twitter and Facebook. But, at the direction of their parties, they all continue to pepper-spray us with lawn signs, pamphlets and hoardings.

It’s not the budget. You can do a lot with a little these days – assuming you have ideas.

But what our political parties seem to lack most – which is laid bare by the traditional channels and messages they’re using – is new ideas.

What is the strategy behind doing exactly what your competitors are doing? Any marketer would advise to do something better or go in another direction altogether. But politicians from all parties seem content to adhere to a fifty-year old playbook, and hunker down around their identical road signs and buttons and door knocking tactics.

Do you want to see these road signs everywhere? I don’t. Waste of money, resources and space. As a marketer I would never recommend it.

I want to vote for someone who clearly knows what he or she is doing. But there is precious little evidence of that this election judging by the touchpoints being created for voters. If they don’t understand marketing, bring in someone who does. That’s the way it is in business.

The current crop of election advertising simply tells us that we should expect same old from everyone concerned. That’s the message.

Is it any wonder the kids can’t be bothered to vote?

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4 Responses to “The hidden message behind election advertising”

  1. VB May 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    If I ever run for office, I’ll put you in charge of the campaign. Okay?

    • Doug Brown May 9, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      I will vote for you Moe! Just to see you speak, bow and exit left.

  2. neil May 10, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    Doug, yes, yes, YES!!!! It’s shocking how low the bar is, might I suggest ‘The Victory Lab’ audiobook for your enjoyment? Really interesting stuff coming from leaders in political strategy. Thanks for the post.

    • Doug Brown May 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Cheers for the supplementary listening/reading Neil. The bar is indeed low. If it was any lower it would be a lawn sign. Oh wait…

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