Monday, August 4, 2008

The Right Marketing Ammunition?

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation." -Robert Kennedy

Last week, John McCain attacked Barack Obama's rock star popularity with two politically charged advertisements. The first implicitly compared Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, while suggesting he will increase taxes and foreign oil dependency. The second used religious references to indirectly suggest Obama is the second coming of Christ and questioned his leadership ability. Both neglected to offer what McCain brings to the table and simply pointed a finger at Obama.

Is this the right marketing direction for McCain? Why does he need to criticize the competition in hope of positively promoting his brand?

Is Obama, 47, going to point a finger back at McCain, 71, for being too old to lead? McCain was born 1936. The Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, the CIA was formed in 1947 and Alaska became a state in 1959; all happening before Obama's birth in 1961. Now doesn't that make McCain seem really old? But does this change his ability to lead? No. The same way that being popular does not change a person's ability to lead.

If McCain is struggling to compete with Obama's viral marketing machine and connect with younger voters, why doesn't he turn to his family jewel? Barak has Obama Girl, but John has Meghan, his attractive 23-year old daughter. She doesn't have to prance around in a bikini, but her charm and intelligence can be placed more in the spotlight to promote her dad. Now, wouldn't that help win a voter's heart and ballot? Instead of pointing a finger at the competition?

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