Posts Tagged ‘strategy’

Let’s talk Strategy

July 31, 2013

Not much to say about the video per se, but I thought this video was a good MacGuffin to talk about the comptroller race.

There’s been a lot of talk about Spitzer coming back into politics. Most of it centered around the question of could Spitzer overcome his prostitution scandal. Missed in that conversation or maybe forgotten (mostly) is that Spitzer was a pretty awful governor before he resigned. I wonder if the prostitution scandal didn’t actually save Spitzer’s reputation.  Is it easier to rebound from seeing a prostitute or being a horrible governor?

Well, since Scott Stringer thought it was his his civic duty to remind people that Spitzer’s second act is really the same as his first — claiming to be a reformer then letting everyone down).

Strategically this is probably the best way to go, smarter than pounding Spitzer on the prostitution scandal, which could seem less than honroable and everyone already knows about.

Now this is a video rather than an ad, but it makes the point, pretty straightforwardly. I found the quotes powerful and the press conference scene especially good.

This is Stringer’s best shot to take down Spitzer, and to the extend that it starts a conversation that subverts Spitzer’s appeal it will be successful. But, I wonder if people see two Spitzer’s one the arrogant failed governor who failed and the other a gunslinging Attorney General who kept them safe from the predators of Wall Street and their kind.

Is making the race a referendum on Spitzer enough? I’m not sure. I think Spitzer’s story is too strong in voters’ minds. I think Stringer still needs to sell himself, this needs to be a choice for voters.

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How does David beat Goliath?

May 23, 2013

Barbara Buono has an uphill battle, convincing New Jersey voters that popular Governor Chris Christie hasn’t done as good a job as people think. While Christie’s been up for a while Buono is spening $1m in the New York market (which isn’t that much in that market) with this ad.

The ad is professional, but it’s really not compelling. It picks up a little steam when :20 in when they show the picture of her dad with the sausage, but they don’t have the time or inclination to dwell there, rather they throw out hackneyed platitudes about pulling yourself up.

Here’s the thing … you’re trying to convince people of something they don’t believe, fine that’s the purpose of advertising –if people agreed with you, would you need to advertise? But when you’re facing Goliath, David is foolish to fight toe to toe. I sometimes talk about attrition warfare here, and that’s the strategy Buono is taking.

I’m getting a litte far afield from the ad istelf, but if the goal if this ad is to convince people that Christie has done a bad job, why would it? It’s a political he said/she said, Christie starts with the high ground, he has more resources, and Buono is charging her army in a frontal assualt.

What should she do? Maneuver, don’t fight him straight on, fight asymmetrically, hit Christie on an issue they don’t see coming or one that goes to the heart of his credibility. Throwing three charges against him is akin to saying nothing, it becomes political blah, blah, blah.   Maybe that issue doesn’t exist, then find something that people can hook into, something that resonates, something that’s emotional not rational (and especially not rational when people already disagree with you).

An ad like this works only if you have favorable terrain and equal or better resources.

It’s a safe ad, but when you’re fighting Goliath, playing it safe only plays to his game not yours.

On Strategy

February 3, 2010

Found this interesting ad from Dish TV attacking Direct TV, another in the recent trend of consumer products going negative against their opponents.

For a high end ad, I think the design is poor.  Visually it’s not much better than your usual political ad, higher end maybe, but this is the best they can do?

In the martial art Aikido, your taught to use your opponent’s energy against them, their attack becomes your attack. It’s really quick clever, and minimizes differences in size and power.  That’s what this ad does.

It’s strategically brilliant, Dish Network is turning a weakness (lack of celebrity endorsements) into a strength, lower cost, and at the same time undercutting Direct TV’s endorsement strategy.  I think this message sticks because it makes sense, those celebrities must cost a lot, and they quote some stats saying how Direct TV costs more, there’s a pretty logical if A = B, and B = C, then C = A logic at work.  If they tried to link celebrity endorsements to let’s say the quality of the satellite signal, then it would be less authentic and less effective.

No I think this works and will stick, and it forces Direct TV to respond in some otherwise they risk people thinking about how expensive they are every time they roll out another celebrity endorsement.

On form this ad would score about a C-, but for function, I think it’s an A.

I had an Italian friend, and driving the streets of Rome, she would say, red lights are only suggestions.  There’s a general rule that you don’t repeat your opponent’s charges in your ad, Dish TV reminds us that rules like that are only suggestions, good as a general guide, but should be broken when breaking it give your side the advantage.


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