Thursday, October 25, 2012

Barack Obama and Rosser Reeves.

I am seldom startled by the stupidity of people who are charged with marketing a product, service or idea. In fact for about two decades now I've been repeating this line: "We keep idiot-proofing our work, they keep making better idiots."

A little more than a month ago at the Democratic convention someone uttered a line that I thought could win Barack Obama the election. It pointed out the difference between he and Romney. It was catchy. And it raised the spectre of a return to the Bush-caused depression we are currently mired in.

That line was: "Don't double-down on trickle-down."

Since that line was uttered thousands of gallons of ink and billions of pixels have been expended covering our Presidential race.

The Obama campaign seems to be going out of its way to be un-memorable in its speeches and ads.

I grew up in an advertising era in which the thinking of Rosser Reeves still held sway. He believed in a unique selling proposition. A memorable line. And repetition.

Most of the taglines we remember today come from this era.

I think because they worked.

6 comments:

Mike Vassolo said...

Another big idea that I thought could take off was "Romnesia," but they just kind of dropped it. I think it's got a lot of legs. What do you think? Am I just crazy?

George Tannenbaum said...

No, Mike, I agree. I think, and this is partly my point, they could have beaten the drum on any number of decent lines. Instead, blah blah blah.

Mike Vassolo said...

Exactly, precise communication that strikes a chord, instead of blah, blah blah.

Anonymous said...

It's Obama's election to lose (and secretly, he probably wants to get the hell out). I fear it's gonna be Mitthead as #45

Tore Claesson said...

@anon/
No, i don't think Obama wants to lose. He doesn't want to go down in history as the guy who couldn't fix it.
That said, the signs of recovery this spring seem to have blown away with the first autumn winds. So it won't an easy next 4 years either. I agree with George that this campaign season has been void of memorable lines. The only truly memorable line was Mittney's 47%. But somehow it hasn't stuck with the people. It seems as if all too many of the 47% thought he was just kidding and actually didn't mean it. David O. maintained that "The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife". Well, turns out we have a lot of morons around when it comes to understanding political speak. Wives, husbands and singles.

dave trott said...

The line that got most talked about in the UK was Romney grumbling that we don't have as many battleships as we used to, and Obama saying, no and we don't have as many bayonets and horses either.
If he could have come up with a line as good as that for the domestic situation that would have been his "Where's the beef?"