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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Why Politics is More Fun Than Corp. Marketing

In Brands, communications, marketing, Political Strategy, Politics, strategy on February 29, 2008 at 10:22 am

The thing that so entices me about politics is that politicians are hyper-aware that someone is going to lose. Several people, in fact, and quickly. They play the game knowing that for them to win they have to knock out the other guy without maiming themselves in the process.

Conventional marketers seem to be in the game to win enough market share or cool points to keep playing. They don’t appear to be thinking about what it would take to knock the other brand out of the race. Positioning themselves as the best brand and depositioning the competition as well as possible doesn’t seem to be the goal.

We’ve reached a point of collusion in the political race where Hillary and John McCain see Obama as a threat to both of them. HRC and McCain both have a better chance against each other at this point than either have against Obama so it makes sense for them to do the full court press to ensure that he doesn’t make it past this round. But should the former two frenemies both make it to the next round, what will happen when Hillary’s attacks on Obama have wound up bolstering McCain’s position?

And in relation to this ad, who goes to bed in a pants suit and eyeglasses? HRC is your answer to that one, apparently.

Hillary’s Last Stand

In Political Strategy, Politics on February 20, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Kangaroo fight

Originally uploaded by Pascal Vuylsteker

The Caucus ran an interesting piece today on Hillary’s campaign and the strategies that are taking shape for her last stand in Texas and Ohio. They mostly read like more of the same plus some fighting.

A sample:

1. Use two upcoming debates between now and March 4 to draw a strong contrast with Mr. Obama. “We’ve seen dramatic changes when that’s happened,” said Mark Penn, her chief strategist and pollster. (Translation: expect her to unload everything she has on him.)

2. Hope “new information” about Mr. Obama will emerge and discourage voters from supporting him. (Translation: see above.)

I’m an Obama supporter through and through, but regardless, I hate to see bad strategy. Hillary’s campaign manager seems to be telling her to double down, that it’s now or never and to add some harsher criticism to the mix. The rub is that if she loses even one of these states she’s also going to erode her remaining goodwill with the Democratic party and come off looking rather petty come the convention. Not to mention that the Hillary campaign has already started to go negative and if anything, Obama has seemed to come out above it all.

Looking back to the Hillary Tear in NH, mentioned in a previous post, the real momentum gained from that moment came from her really articulating why she wanted the job. That it wasn’t just politics to her and it wasn’t just about winning. The tear got all the press but it was the message that she was in it for the voters, not for her own self-interest, that stuck. If I were looking for an answer on Hillary’s long quiet plane rides, that’s where I would look. Give voters a real chance to decide who is better equipped, add in some of that emotion, and if it doesn’t go her way then take a slow step backward and preserve the Clinton brand.

Obama Understands Marketing

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, marketing, Political Strategy, Politics, strategy, youtube on February 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Obama has thus far out positioned the competition in the Democratic and Republican primary season. He stands for change. While change is perhaps not the clearest positioning when you dig into it, on the surface it resonates. It depositions Hillary, his key rival, as a Washington incumbent. All that’s missing now is “we need a change from the Bush-Clinton-Bush way of doing politics,” which would resonate with both Democrats and Republicans. And this Super Bowl spot is one of the best political ads that I have seen, not that there was much competition.

Fox News is Giving Focus Groups a Bad Name

In market research, Politics on January 11, 2008 at 11:58 am

Let’s be clear, Fox News is not running focus groups.  Fox News is making reality television and passing it off as focus groups.  I was watching FN during the NH primary and I was shocked at Frank Lutz, they way he conducted the bits of the group that they showed and the bias he showed in talking about it afterward.

If it was actually a focus group they would have made the group smaller in order to drill down into the issues and respondents preferences and triggers.  As it was, it looked an awful lot like a made-for-TV panel with trite, surface level questions and a large studio video camera trained to capture respondents carefully crafted answers.

Moreover, as this video shows, they didn’t do a very good job at screening the folks from central casting.