When marketing is too obvious.

by Kate Brodock on 7 January 2008

Posted in: Uncategorized

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[Disclaimer: this is not necessarily an indication of my political views or where my candidate support lies, only a pondering]

Ah, campaign season. Sort of makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth at moments. Most especially when blatant attempts to improve brand image are “masked” (we’re putting this in quotations, because it’s clear that they’re not masked in some cases) by sincerity and caring.

Case in point: Hillary’s teary plea to the New Hampshire voters, sent to me by my dear brother, who claims he can just barely make out the smelling salts on the table next to her.

See video HERE. (It hasn’t popped up on YouTube yet, I’ll try and put it up when it does).

First of all, blogs across the country are lauding her for her emotion, however I only hear a quiver in her voice maybe twice. Ok, fine.

Here’s what I have a major problem with, and what sends off a few red flags of ingenuity in my head. In the days since the Iowa Caucuses (aright, let’s be honest, for several years now), Hillary has gotten a lot of heat for being cold, untouchable, and impersonal, and is said to have resorted to “getting tough” in order to get through to voters. Analysts have already said that many people have been turned off by these characteristics, and specifically many in Iowa.

Two logically following points emerge: this display was, in my opinion, a much too obvious stab at trying to right aforementioned image, which means that, as a result, a marketer, even a mediocre one, would have and should have recognized this over-obviousness and perhaps resisted the urge to get choked up. The first thing a lot of people see is someone who’s disingenuous, and someone trying to “cry up” votes. Yes, it may have worked for half of the 16 women that were in the coffee house with Hillary, but unfortunately it was being taped by ABC.news, which means that even if on the off-chance that she was actually emotional, none of it fit into the national view of who she is or how she’s campaigning, and thus, didn’t seem real.

Of course, this is just my opinion. But maybe I’m the cold-hearted one.

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