The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

It Would Seem Political Strategists Have The Same Problem As Quite A Few Media Strategists …
September 2, 2008, 6:43 am
Filed under: Comment

It’s not just about WHERE you say it … nor is it just about WHAT you say … you have to appreciate the importance of HOW you convey your message otherwise even the best of intentions can come across as condecending, patronising and inappropriate.

Or in language you may understand more easily – it might work against you!

This is what creatives – and hopefully the odd planner – can add to the mix, because with their involvement your message doesn’t just get seen and heard, but felt and remembered.

Remember the truly great messages never smack the ears, they squeeze the heart.

21 Comments so far
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whoa that’s just retarded.
Is he trying to play the “good sport” card or something here?
I don’t understand why they would do this. Your point is valid too Rob, he reeks of bullshit. Didn’t someone in blogland once write “oops your strategy is showing” in response to the role of creative? In this case, man, what a shitty way to execute a pretty patronising strategy to begin with!

I am Age Conte and I approve this message.

Comment by Age

You are not alone in thinking McCain comes across badly in this commercial but I am sure his supporters view it as an act of incredible generosity by a great leader in waiting.

I would be interested to know how this commercial was perceived in America because I feel the net effect would be to only appeal to the previously converted though I am forgetting McCain did this out of genuine respect for his political adversary, not for political gain.

A fantastic reminder of how important tone and soul are in brand communication not to mention the value of having some cynics in your team not just yes men.

Comment by Lee Hill

lol @age.

brilliant point rob. and in fact, this reiterates the idea that the TVC solution is what’s wrong with adland (and the ad peeps in politics) – mr mccain may well be sincere, but did we really need to see a TVC? even if he needed spin, he could have congratulated him in person, in front of the cameras, or sent out a press release, or taken out a full-page in the NY Times or something. Of course tone and soul are important, but when you’re only developing that around a 30-second spot, well that’s asking for trouble.

“the value of having some cynics in your team not just yes men.” that’s good counsel, lee. nice one.

i am lauren brown and i approve this message.

Comment by lauren

To be fair to McCain, he can’t win on this issue because whatever he did would potentially come across as patronising and/or contrived.

Ad in the NY Ttimes = Elitist

Personal Appearance = Stealing the limelight

Radio = Not sincere

PR Leak = Attention grabbing stunt

Whilst I wish he’d just done it quietly and respectfully, that isn’t the way of American politics who are always looking for political gain … which is why I can sort-of accept why they went with a TV commercial.

It might not be a ‘credible’ medium, but it is guaranteed to get McCain into housholds all over the World as well as the US and will be recorded in history thanks to the likes of Youtube …

Well, I’m sure that was the strategy, the problem is his delivery was so bad that it’s benefit could be minimal. I am shocked his advisors didn’t identify this, however they probably don’t care because they know the rest of the World can’t vote in the election and those living in the States are either generally unmoved by politics or are unlikely to change their view just because some wrinkly white dude [copyright Paris Hilton] made some attempted praising comments.

Saying that, Lee’s comment about McCain potentially surrounding himself with “Yes Men” rather than the odd objective strategist could be right … because lets face it, Virgin’s success is all down to cynics 🙂

Comment by Robert

I think even Andy would agree this is a brilliant post so why did you write it when he’s away? You’re a glutton for punishment Robert.

Comment by Pete

Great comment from Lee about embracing cynics within an organisation, but then I would say that and so would he. 🙂

Nice post Robert, I especially like the “squeeze the heart” line, a much more accurate description for evoking reaction than “caressing”.

Comment by George

I refuse to watch that clip. Good morning.

Comment by Marcus

Is that incase your otherwise positive persona gets dangerously affected?

Comment by Rob

I can’t watch McCain, I just can’t. Is the man actually alive alive anyway? He looks like death microwaved.

Comment by northern

Since nobody pays attention to any positive political advertising anyway, you could argue that just the act of trying a different tone might be felt to be enough.

There again, maybe the cynics were involved – after all the anniversary of the “I have a dream” speech that coincided with Obama’s nomination has a different resonance in certain states and arguably lit the touchpaper for his ultimate demise. Conspiracy theorists start here.

Comment by John

Whose ultimate demise John? Obama’s or McCain?

Comment by Rob

Martin Luther King’s.

Comment by John

Well here’s another one …

Maybe someone in McCain’s camp is really an Obama supporter and knew that this strategy would be more likely to cause revultion than attraction so pushed for him to take this stand.

See, anyone can talk conspiracy stuff … and did you know Elvis is alive and Lord Lucan lives next to my dead Nan, who is really alive but is pretending for the tax benefits!

Comment by Rob

i can’t wait ’til this damned election is dead and buried – i’m over it.

Comment by lauren

Dead and buried? Is this your contribution to the Dodds conspiracy story telling contest?

In all honesty, why are you over it Lauren. I mean I can imagine the simple answer – but given America has such a disproportionate influence in how we live our lives, what is it that has made you go “GET ON WITH IT”.

Genuinely interested, I’m not trying to make you look a slack Aussie 🙂

Comment by Rob

dead and buried was in response to your nan living next to lord lucan…

to be honest, i’m over it for several reasons, in no particular order:

– everyone going on about it simply accentuates the myth that america are the rulers of the western world
– i’m used to electioneering going on for a couple of months, but this feels like it’s been on and on and on for years. and there’s still more time to go!
– if their political system affects us all so much, let us vote. if not, fuck off and deal with your garbage.
– i’m cynical to the core and impatient.

Comment by lauren

It’s comments like that Lauren, which helps me understand Andy’s love for you, haha!

Comment by Rob

And both parties are essentially the same.

Comment by John

I’ve got some questions about this post.
Who is John McCain?
Is this another Rob Campbell “film”?
Should I pretend to care?

Comment by Billy Whizz

Lord Lucan ! My god – now there’s a blast from the past !

Comment by fan

i dont know whats been fucking happening but this is a fucking good post campbell. i fucking detest media wankers who only focus on their “opportunities to see” shit, communication is so much more than that but if youve been holed up in a little box with only spreadsheets of numbers for company you cant blame them for being so fucking out of touch with real life

Comment by andy@cynic

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