For months, we’ve been bombarded (I wanted to say assaulted, but thought the better of it) by a seemingly unending string of political ads. If you live in an area where there are competitive races of major significance, as we have here in Illinois for both the gubernatorial and senate races, you likely have been tempted to eschew TV watching for something less stressful, like, I don’t know, taking a baseball bat to your set.
Being in the marketing business, we understand the need for candidates, political parties, and even the dreaded so-called special interest groups, to advertise in an attempt to sway public opinion in their favor. But, it seems as though political advertising has become the embodiment for all that is bad about advertising. It is often deceptive, remarkably cliché, and tends to play to the lowest common denominator.
Political advertising, especially right before an election, is the ultimate in direct response marketing. So, I’ll cut a little slack to the practitioners for not thinking more about long-term brand building with their 30-second freak shows. Call me idealistic, but it would seem to make sense that a candidate might want to think about laying a foundation for his/her brand, you know, on the outside chance that he/she actually was to win. (more…)