The sincerest form of flattery

Can’t avoid the Halter Lincoln race as much as I would like to.

Does this ad seem familiar to you?

I like these kind of slice of life ads.  The Halter ad is a little too heavy on issues for my taste, but I suppose they got to put it in there.  It feels like it’s trying just a little too hard to be homey.  Compare it to the Brown ad which is more authentic and organic. Still, I think these ads are about likability, and they’re about the kind of person who is supporting the candidate.  And I think the Halter ad succeeds on that front.

Rob Walker in his book, “Buying In,” makes the case that we buy products that reinforce the image we have of ourselves.  So essentially, the places we shop, the foods we eat tell a story about us, a story we want to convey to the world.  I don’t go to Starbucks, I go to Dunkin Donuts — that says something about your identity to the world.  I think it’s true for candidates as well. I remember during the primary a unnamed woman friend of mine agonized who to vote for, Obama or Clinton.  She tried to rationalize her choice of Clinton, but still felt unsatisfied.  After she voted we spoke, I asked who she voted for and she Clinton, but added, “I feel like a traitor to my generation.”  Her identity as a woman was stronger in that moment, but she was conflicted because of what voting for Obama represented — change, being hip, being a true progressive etc, hope.  Clinton was the status quo.  She was so worried about what her vote said about her she swore me to secrecy.  That’s the power of identity, choice and stories.

That’s a lot of weight to thirty seconds.

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