This is my bi-yearly rant about the scourge of my industry, political advertising or more specific, negative political advertising. I’m an ad man and there’s nothing that gets me fired up like a good, well told story that motivates, persuades and sells. Going negative does none of the these things.
Yes, you can say that it works, there are examples out there of how it affected an election.
It doesn’t even have to be an ad, Harry Reid called out Mitt Romney as a felon and a tax dodger, out and out lies, and it stuck with a compliant, left leaning media. Plus, if you tell a lie with major media weight, who knows what the truth is? It’s like brainwashing or the Stockholm Syndrome.
But let’s talk about ads.
Negative ads are bad advertising…BADVERTISING. They do a disservice to us all, they neither educate nor persuade.
The stories are false, backed up with flea type disclaimers that prove nothing. They leave a bad taste in our mouthes and destroy any trust in the political system.
Nobody likes them. So why do we let political hacks get away with out and out lies and deceit? How come no one (but me) call them out on there bad ads?
So here’s primer from an ad man on how to do it right and not sling mud and take the liars way out. We need to stop this shit once and for all.
• Tell me what you stand for.
• Tell me why you are qualified to hold this specific office.
• Tell me about your family and yourself, what makes you tick.
• Tell me what side you are on, if you are a Democrat, Libertarian or Republican, tell me.
• If you must compare, tell me the honest differences but don’t judge your opponent.
• Tell me why I can trust you and don’t tell me I cannot trust your opponent, I’ll decide who’s trustworthy.
• Don’t call me…ever.
• Always be honest.
• Remember you are invited into my living room, stop yelling at me.
• Don’t cheat.
• Don’t continually use talking points, know your stuff and come from the heart. We tire of the TPs.
• If your opponent goes negative, make them the laughing stock for doing so. Wit goes a long way.
• Shake my hand, look me in the eye, talk to us. But don’t set up false photo ops.
• Be genuine.
• Hire and pay professionals to craft your message and design you ads.
• Be professional but lose the tie or suit often.
• Give out cool stuff-your buttons should be collector’s items-same with posters. Do many designs.
• Have a headline for your yard sign, short ’n sweet, hire a copywriter.
• Don’t try to be funny, it’s only funny once or twice, tops.
• And finally please do NOT steal established advertising campaigns to be your own. GOT THAT?
I’d like to see this fundamental transformation happen, I think most voter’s would.
I don’t personally know that many politicians. They avoid me like the plague, I’m expensive and opinionated. But this is what I do everyday not just every couple of years.