This video was made to point out the idiocy of many marketing and branding campaigns. The unfortunate reality is that this video is all too true. Ever wonder how some of the truly boneheaded moves get made in the commercial world? Well, watch this and you’ll see how the same damn boneheaded moves get made in our political world. My views after the video…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU9YeOQm3Y0
As someone who has acted as staffer, quasi-campaign manager and consultant this video a reality that few admit. It also shows why I don’t get hired very often. I’m known for not having any patience, or polite reactions, after the first 2 or 3 idiotic suggestions. People know I just don’t participate in those discussions. And I’ve been know to throw people out of the meetings.
Do you have any idea of how bad it can get? A few years ago we were filming a series of congressional candidate commercials. I had taken a back seat to a “campaign team” from a famous blogsphere campaign. In the studio, the new female comm director decides we should have a diffent script and comes running in, ruining a pretty good take, waving a new script. The highly experienced director, who had only had two award winning hits on Broadway, quietly started banging his head on the wall. I asked her how long the script timed out.
She was puzzled and said, and I quote,”I don’t know. It’s just a few lines.” She honestly didn’t know. At that point the director started to moan. I took the script as politely as possible and said I would time it out for her. It was horrible. Simply horrible. So I told everyone to take a 20 minute break. I was acting far above my pay grade as I was on staff too but the candidate trusted me.
While others gave oxygen to the director, I wrote an entirely new script and timed it as if the candidate was speaking slowing, mid-speed or quickly. As we reconvened, now that I was the bastard of the day in the eyes of the ‘famous’ but inexperienced staff, the director made a few changes to the script, banned everyone but me from the studio and we finished the series of commercials within a half an hour.
That ‘communications person’ went from our campaign, after storming out indigently, and was hired as a regional director by the DCCC. Thereafter she hooked up with the Edwards campaign and became one of their spokespeople. I will give her credit in that she must have learned a lot as she sounded reasonably coherent.
There are few people who get that campaign communications must originate from a single strategic viewpoint, speak coherently from that viewpoint and understand that they can’t make everyone happy. Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008, as well as John Kerry’s and Wes Clark’s in 2004 are perfect examples of campaign’s that had too many cooks and not enough chef’s. <sigh> I believe that Hillary Clinton figured for herself it out late in her campaign and took over her own messaging. It was, however, too late.