Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hey, Mark Kennedy...

Hey, Minnesota Republican senatorial candidate Mark Kennedy – how come your television commercials don’t say you’re a Republican?

What’s the matter?

Afraid voters might see it like this?

“Kennedy = Republican.

“Republican = Bush.

“Bush = Yuk.

“Therefore Kennedy = Yuk.”

By not mentioning that you are the Republican candidate for the senate in your advertising, aren’t you, in fact running away from your record, instead of on your record? Aren’t you propagating a misperception? And what’s the difference between that and just plain lying?

As an adman with more years of experience than I care to advertise, I know there is a secondary level of communication embedded in every television commercial. It’s simple, non-verbal, and completely human. Every time you run a commercial, you communicate whether you think the viewer is smart or dumb.

Not advertising your Republican bona fides says you think the viewer is dumb – too dumb to ferret that information out for him or herself.

“Always treat the prospect as if she were intelligent enough to buy your product for the right reasons,” counseled legendary ad guru David Ogilvy half a century ago.

Clearly, for many undecided voters, being Republican may not be the right reason to “buy” Mark Kennedy. Just as clearly, a six-year congressional voting record in virtual lockstep with the Bush administration is not the right reason either. There don’t seem to be a lot of right reasons available to you this time.

But omitting your Republican status won’t create a right reason. It will only communicate a lack of respect for the intelligence of Minnesota’s voters, no matter how engaging and friendly your commercials are.

So stop treating the voters as if they were stupid. Be proud. Say you’re a Republican. Tag your commercials with the fact.

It’s not simply more intellectually and morally honest. It’s essential if you hope to have and chance of winning at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN! This guy is such an ass. seem to give people more credit than we would...if voters are supposed to be so'd MK get elected to anything in the first place?

From: Chris (Darlene's sister) and husband, Dennis---who is really disgusted by MK.

PS: I like your columns.....Tony told me about them.

6:52 AM  

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