Posts Tagged ‘Personality’

The power of personality

January 13, 2014

A lot of catching up to do in the pre-Super Bowl quiet….

We’ll start today with this ad from a friend of mine. I usually try not to comment on videos when I know the folks involved, but this video is worth taking a few minutes out to watch.

What I appreciate about this video beside the clever presentations is that the personality of the candidate shines through. Now I’ve never met Daylin Leach, but I imagine he’s exactly like what I see here. The gimmicks in the video add to the authenticity of the final product presenting an image of an unrepentant liberal with boundless energy, someone who is serious but doesn’t take himself too seriously.

The other day, I was on a call and someone said, “Voters are looking for cues about a candidate.” I thought that was really insightful. Watch the video again — what cues do you get about Leach?

After three minutes you feel like you know him. Now, if you met him in person or watched him give a speech or already had an opinion of Leach and what you observed or thought doesn’t match with the video (in other words the video presents an inauthentic version of the candidate), that’s when campaigns get into trouble.  The other question is does Leach’s personality so evident here come across in the other aspects of his campaign?

In other words, can the campaign present a unified vision of itself to the public? Its a theme I’ve talked about before, ads are a great medium to communicate your message, emotion and personality, but its’ not enough to communicate it, the campaign or brand has to embody it too.

Personality is great, too often campaigns run from their candidates personality, offering a watered down version of what they think voters want (consumer brands do this too). But what voters (and consumers) want is authenticity, Apple is as extreme a brand identity as any mainstream brand, it seems to do well with buyers. This video is powered by personality, and that’s a good thing.

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Massachusetts Senate

January 15, 2010

I’ve avoided talking about the Massachusetts senate race mostly because the ads have been pretty boring or at least not very interesting.  This week has been slow, and I’ve been desperately trying to find something to write about, so I resolved to look over the ads in what seems to be a tightening race.

I was surprised to find this one:

It’s short on issues (“someone who’s going to lower your taxes”) and long on character and personality.  Interesting choice given how late in the campaign it is.  Usually you’re hammering your opponent or giving voters a laundry list of reasons to vote for you, of both.

I like this spot, and I think it’s effective, though I’m not working on this race, and I can’t prove it.  If my only exposure to Scott Brown was from this ad, I’d like him, think he’s a local, he seems to get it, he seems like a real person.

When I watch the Martha Coakley ads I don’t get that sense — she feels so polished, like a typical politician.

Watch her most recent positive ad which features Senator Kenndy’s widow:

Other than the emotional value of Vicki Kennedy, the ad is about as flat and dull as can be.

With all the media rushing to make national trends, it’s easy to forget that campaigns matter and the ads you put on the air matter.

If I were looking just at these ads, I’d vote for Scott Brown too.

When there’s an elephant in the room…

January 5, 2010

Wow.  When was the last time you saw a company rag on their own product or at the very least pass along consumer’s negative comments about their own products.  Now you’ve got my attention.

Sometimes you have to admit the problem.  There’s no running from it.  A few months ago, I saw a Wall Street Journal article about Wal-Mart.  For years, Wal-Mart tried to defend it’s image from attacks, they tried to gloss it over, they pretended they were different.  Then the CEO did the unthinkable, he “stopped defending the company’s practices and started changing them.” (WSJ July 16, 2009)  It seems obvious, but so often it’s not.  It’s hard to hear criticism, especially when that criticism is public.  Authenticity is hard.

This is the trailer for a 4 minute video, that I would encourage you to watch (there’s a :30 commercial out there, but I couldn’t find it on youtube).  It’s stilted in places, but overall it’s well done, and get’s me interested in a brand I had little or no interest in before.   Dominos goes from a faceless company in the business of delivery, to a company with personality and people who care in the business of making good pizza.  That’s a pretty good shift even from a four minute video.

I grew up in New York City, and I’m a pizza snob, and I’m interested in trying the new Domino’s pizza because of this commercial.

Spin can only get you so far, excuses usually sound like excuses.  At a certain point you have to come clean and state what everyone knows, it shows you’re human, maybe more important it’s authentic and real, and it captures people’s attention because it’s so damned rare and unexpected.


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