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Friday, August 19, 2005

Winning Without an Ad Buyer

Posted by Bob Brigham

Chris Bowers:

For at least three decades, on a federal and statewide level American politic campaigns have been defined by television ads. As a result, a profession, even a culture, has built up around televised political ads. Now, almost every campaign has what they call a "number mover" ad: the sort of ad that it hopes will shake up static public opinion. Of course, as New Politics Institute keeps reminding us, in three years half of the homes in America will have some form of replay television, and won't be watching nearly as many, if any, commercials. In this developing environment, how does one go about moving numbers?

Russ Feingold found the answer among the Presidential candidates (go read Bowers whole piece as you should with anything he writes). But what if your goal isn't to win the 2008 democratic presidential primary? What if you want to win locally and be able to win in the future?

To some degree, use the same play. I'm reminded of the Cluetrain classic: It is the content not the container.

Straight talk goes a long way, but you also need bold action. Our distributed content delivery systems mean that it takes something powerful to break through all of the junk that ad buyers spit at consumers.

Paul Hackett did this in Ohio, and almost won. Last year, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom catapulted himself to the front of the civil rights march. In 2000, Brian Schweitzer's over-the-border senior drug runs were legendary, and he almost won. In fact, Schweitzer is now Commander in Chief of Montana. And Hackett is very well positioned for membership in the US Senate.

The interesting thing about Hackett, Newsom and Schweitzer is that many in DC said their experimentation with bold action was a failure. I'm sure the DC Losers club is thinking the same thing about Feingold. That is the problem with people who are playing checkers instead of chess.

Because all four of these leaders have proved they "get it" when it comes to communicating without relying upon an ad. They are ready for the future. They are the future.

So smart candidates should follow their lead -- by leading themselves. Big bold action. Rely upon the quality of ideas instead of the size of the campaign account. Drive the debate instead of following the polls. Take risks, people will vote for people they respect even if they disagree on some issues. And most importantly, inspire people.

There are no roadblocks.

Posted at 10:50 AM in Democrats | Technorati


It's comments like those that make me think that someday soon you're going to take notice of PA-19 Democratic Congressional candidate Joe Otterbein and his call for other Democrats to run against him in his primary.


Posted by: Eric Loeb [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 04:55 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

In my view, direct mail is far more effective than TV ads, particularly because it is more targetable. I also wonder if there is any future to paid canvassing.

Posted by: Lorax [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 19, 2005 09:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment