Youve all seen the commercials. Dark, grainy images. Ominous music. Worried, concerned people sitting at a kitchen table. Cherry picked and misleading statistics. Unhappy children and grandmothers. Then the earnest, camera-facing candidate. Huge flags.
I do not approve of these messages. Not because theyre for one candidate or another, not because theyre driving all of us insane. Its because, for the most part, theyre not good marketing. All they do is tell me whats wrong with the competitor, not whats good about the product theyre selling. Millions are spent on these morbid, overwrought productions, yet they are neither clear nor concise. They dont inform or enlighten or enhance. They simply unsettle.
Perhaps its because these candidates dont have unique selling propositions. Maybe they dont have anything positive to say. Perhaps its just because they think that we are too dumb to understand the differences in policy. Maybe its easier to run on fear. After all, fear can sell things – just look at the market for antibacterial products.
But choosing someone to represent us is a little more important than picking up a hand sanitizer because were afraid of the bird flu. And when something is that important, it would be great to hear real, actual, actionable approaches to the problems we face. It would be great to see something interesting and engaging something with substantive content to help us make an informed choice.
When the only response you get to your marketing is Boy, Ill really be glad when this is over, theres something wrong with your strategy. And thats not good marketing.
Photo Credit: Flickrs Cain and Todd Benson