Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Build a Digital Culture

Successful digital endeavors involve building a culture. It’s about understanding what your community of users value, rather than just examining their buying habits. It’s not about what you make, what you want to sell, or what your ad agency thinks is a clever way to message to them. Understand what they value, and they will reward you. Connect them with their interests, and they’ll remember you. Go out of your way to interrupt their conversation, and they’ll head for the door.

Communities, whether social or digital, are built around cultural beliefs. “Buying things” is not a cultural belief, no matter how much money has been spent trying to tell us otherwise. Being “talked at” is condescending, and oh so 20th Century.

Listen. Figure out what is real to people and why it's real to them. Enter the conversation with respect. Then build your culture around it.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Did you order the Hail Mary?

You just know this is what McCain is thinking:

"What I do want is for you to stand there in that
faggoty white uniform impeccable designer suit and with your Harvard mouth extend me some fucking courtesy."

If only Friday night had gone something like this:

Obama: Senator did you order the Hail Mary?

McCain: The press wants to question Sarah Palin, thinks she isn’t fit for the job. I don't give a damn what they think they’re entitled to.

Obama: Senator, Steve Schmidt ordered the Hail Mary because that’s what you told him to do.

FOX Noise: Object!


Obama: And when it went bad, when Governor Palin was incoherent in front of Katie Couric...

FOX Noise:
Dammit Obama!

Obama: ...You suspended your campaign to cover it up. You'll cut her loose next week before she can go before Joe Biden!

FOX Noise: Consider yourself in Contempt of the Republican Party!

Obama: Senator did you order the Hail Mary?

McCain: You want answers?

Obama: I think we’re entitled.

McCain: You want answers?!

Obama: I want the truth!

McCain: I can’t handle the truth!

Son, we live in a world that has walls, walls that were torn down by great men like Ronald Reagan. And the remains of those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. I have to try to make something out of what's left of conservative ideology. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you and your elitist friends, can be pretty damn entertaining. You don't want the truth because deep down inside when you gather at your celebrity cocktail parties, you want me lying, you need me lying. We use words like honor, code, loyalty surge, nucular, doctrine. We use them as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that the GOP has provided, and then questions if the manner is constitutional or not. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way.

Obama: Did you order the Hail Mary?

McCain: I did the job I...

Obama: Did you order the campaign suspension to cover up Sarah Palin's interview?

McCain: You’re Goddamned right I did!


Note: With all due respect to Maureen Dowd (one of my faves), the seed of this post was published in Open Thread on Friday night.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Brand McCain 08 Goods Available

The public demand was great, so I have acquiesced. You can now sport these fine campaign slogans on any number of items. Dig it here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brand McCain 08

Republicans have always benefited from superior brand marketing (who can forget mascots like Willie Horton and the Swift boat veterans), so why should the 2008 campaign be any different? I’m convinced that with spot-on messaging and just the right amount of creative sizzle, the American public will know exactly who they should cast their vote for on November 4th.

For media, I've chosen OOH—that's Out Of Home to us marketing types. It's also commonly known as yard signs.

Let’s start with the current campaign slogan: “Country First.” Me likey—short, memorable, connects with people. But does it say enough? Hmmm. It tells the voters why, but what about the how?


Now that’s what we in the business call “plussed.” Still short, still memorable, but works much harder.

It’s hard not to notice a great deal of media reporting regarding the factual inconsistencies in the standard McCain Palin stump speech. Apparently, some of this misleading language has even spilled over into the campaign’s TV advertisements. While certain statements may be out and out “false,” the fact still remains that a great deal of what they’re saying is true. Great brands always focus on what they do well while seeking to minimize any shortcomings. Let’s put that to work:


That pretty much nails it. Turns a perceived negative into a positive. And—dare I say—it’s “catchy.”

Now, Sarah Palin. She came out of the gate smokin’, and while she still is smokin’ hot, (hey, sex still sells) her limited experience is beginning to make independent voters nervous. Time to put those fears to rest. No foreign policy experience? No problem.


Let’s not miss the opportunity to capitalize on her recent photo-op at the United Nations while it’s still fresh in the public’s mind.


Then there’s that whole Troopergate story that won’t go away. Why is it that these “bugs” have to come up right after you “go to market?” No matter, with enough righteous certitude, even the most cynical voter will have no choice but to admire Governor Palin’s single-mindedness.


Plus, there are so many positives to talk about with this sassy product of America’s last wilderness. She can raise a family, govern the largest land-mass in the union and still find time for a little recreation.


Edgy and a pop culture reference. Never hurts to have a bit of that in your campaign. Speaks to the X Games demo.

There’s also this matter of the pesky economy which Senator McCain has openly admitted is not his strong suit. One minute you need to make people think it’s solid, the next minute you have to scare the public into thinking they might be standing in a breadline. How about updating that timeless Hoover populist slogan? With a bit of finesse we can even add a dash of Governor Palin’s larger-than-life-experience.


Can you feel the connection, people?

I’m starting to think “The original mavericks” slogan is getting a little stale. The trick to good advertising is to say the same thing a little differently every time. That way your message refreshens in the consumer’s mind. So, a maverick in government does what? Gets rid of government, right? Therefore, we could say:


Sweet. Nothing is more powerful than well-worded truths.

Let’s try to shore up one of Senator McCain’s major weaknesses—that famous ill temper. Messaged correctly, anger can also be interpreted as decisiveness. And if you want to talk decisiveness, you talk Sarah Palin. Problem solved. Now, deliver that message with her quaint twanginess, and we might have something. Or should I say, somethin’.


Confident, folksy, sticky. A nice little double entendre about your foreign policy strength, too. I say print it. Sarah also killed it during her interview with Charlie Gibson. Let's not let the adoring public forget about this moment.


And while we’re at it, we all know that what you say isn’t nearly as important as how you say it.


And finally, there are those out there who would seek to question your age and fitness for the job of President of the United States. Utter nonsense. Those same people question your knowledge of economic matters. Let’s take the naysayers head on, with a powerful, succinct message that puts both issues to rest.


But if none of this stems the tide, the campaign can always rely on one indisputable aspect of Governor Palin’s experience—as point guard of the Wasilla High School girl’s state championship basketball team.


The McCain Palin campaign needs professional help. We have to get these messages on the street pronto. There’s no time for fancy art direction, Mac production, 3 rounds of proofs, press checks, fulfillment and distribution. And, we have no budget. We need to spread the word virtually. Send these yard signs out in email, post them on your blog or add them to your social network page. There’s not a minute to lose.

Join Brand McCain 08 on Facebook today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What the…?

John McCain doesn't like Spain? Maybe he thinks we need an occupying army to plunder their olive supply.