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Mitt Romney is neither a marketer nor a salesperson. That is the fact of the matter and it is going to cost him the election. If it is true, as Lombardi said: "The best defense is a good offense," it doesn't characterize Romney's campaign. Not that I can see.
It isn't enough to simply ride a bus here and there to kiss babies, shake hands, and talk and talk with small audiences about the economy, unemployment, or the debt. The media is tagging along but rest assured that the media is not going to simply serve as a conduit for Romney's message to a broader audience. They hope to get something to use against him. So, retail politics is only part of the game and not necessarily the most effective part of the game because it lacks reach and who can recall what someone has said that takes 5000 words to get the message across anyway?
His campaign needs to have the underpinning of good advertising because he is from a marketing perspective little more than a product for sale to the public.
Now, there are two elements of a good advertisement. The first is people. Good ads have people. They are there to get your attention and deliver a subliminal message.
EG, if you are selling an antidepressant, you don't put someone in an ad that looks depressed. You need someone in the ad that is happy because the subliminal message is to show what the drug will do for you.
The second element of a good ad is the tag line. A brief, simple concise statement that delivers the message of the ad in an effective way. Preferably 10 words or less with the power to stick to the wall. One of the best ads I have seen was Volkswagon's. "Think small." Two words.
Now four years of Obama has provided Mitt with enough ammo to fill an oil tanker. If he is using it, I am not seeing it. I am not hearing it.
Let's do a few ads with people and tag lines:
Unemployment. Ad shows an unmistakable unemployment line.
Tagline: Obama's vision of your future. More of the same?
Economy: A 30 second video of a real honest-to-goodness small businessman or women talking about his or her business. Someone with the X factor talking plainly and simply about how he or she has been impacted by Obama's economic "plan" and what he or she may have to do to survive.
Tagline: Do you work for a small business? You may not be working at all if you vote for Obama.
Closure clip: "You didn't build that" or "Chick-Fil-A is not welcome in Chicago."
There is limited release film coming out from producer Gerald R. Molen, best known for his Academy Award-winning Best Picture "Schindler's List," that shows what America will be like in 2016 if Obama is reelected. Romney's team should get an advance copy and view it. No question that inside that film is something visually powerful that can be adapted to a Debt burden advertisement.
Tagline: If you think the last four years have been bad for you, consider the next four years under Obama.
Now, if you don't like these ads, it doesn't matter. It is not how it is done. It’s just an illustration. In reality, advertising is an end product of a very methodical process that involves marketing research, focus group, SWOT analysis, an orchestrated plan that provides consistency of message, is clearly aligned with the product positioning statement, and messaging that is supported by credible proof sources and more…much more.
Colonel Kurtz: "Are my methods unsound?"
Willard: "I don't see any method, at all, sir."
Right! I don't see any method at all. Here is a tag line for Romney’s team: Hello? Anybody home?