. The Transom .

Friday, July 06, 2007

Racing in circles

Word just came out that Barack Obama has raised more money in six months than any other candidate before him, pulling in approximately $58 million bucks. Not far behind, Hillary has accumulated something in the neighborhood of $53 million. It's predicted that both candidates will end up raising close to $100 million before it's over. That's a lot of money, but where does the bulk of it go? Advertising. What's the one thing advertising lacks? Credibility. Kind of ironic, isn't it?

Of course some money is spent on staff, travel, security, etc etc. But the bulk is spent on those lovely campaign TV spots that start out aspirational and end up combative and reactive to every other candidate's ads as election day gets closer.

I think we are starting to see a trend away from the traditional campaign -30 and -60 second TV spots, but they will still be heavily utilized, because let's face it, the majority of voting baby boomers and older still think social media is what happens in communist China.

You would think that running for the highest office in the land would be a call for communicating credibility and trust. Using the medium with the lowest level of credibility doesn't speak volumes for their common sense.

Thanks to Naomi Davis for the idea...

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  • Oh, Mr. Amberg. The contradictions in your blog are as thick as pea soup.

    Let's begin with your last post (Twitter me this, Madam President) where you lampooned Ms. Clinton for her YouTube video. "Are we looking for a President or an academy award winner?" you posed. With this in mind, let's continue.

    As someone who works in strategic consulting and public relations, surely you must see the need for television advertising. It's been previously noted (on the "Twitter" comments page) that campaigning in this country (and most others) is about name recognition. Think like a campaign manager for a second: credibility? Important. Name recognition? Very important.

    With the upcoming primaries, candidates need people to know their face, to recognize their voice. Print media can accomplish that to a certain extent, but it's when you're watching TV that you see those 30 and 60 spot ads that actually give the layman his first chance to see the candidate.

    I suppose I should just be blunt: the majority of politically-minded people in this country already know who they will vote for in the upcoming election. Most will simply vote along party lines. This leaves us with the primary, where Republicans and Democrats alike will be forced to examine their own ideology and see who it lines up with. Does that happen with the other 99% of the voting population? No.

    Now, candidates are spending money on the least credible form of media to make their most powerful statements: LOOK AT ME. I mean, c'mon Amberg, you didn't even know who Sam Brownback or Mitt Romney were three months ago. You think the rest of the country does?

    Politicians know that they're not trying to appeal to the small niche of the population with political values and beliefs. They know that if you can win the crowd, you can win the argument. Thus, TV ads will live on...except for those with TiVo.

    By Anonymous Swinging Richard, at Thursday, July 12, 2007 1:38:00 PM  

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