It was merely two minutes, but it spoke volumes and continues to expose the gaping chasm of why our movement so often loses.
When Clint’s gravel tone echoed to the end of the Chrysler commercial, a nation paused at the power of such a simple idea.
The gritty, yet resounding message, with its implied political undertones, elated Democrats and enraged beltway Republicans. Why…?
Immediately, right leaning pundits, talk show hosts, and “big thinkers” started degrading the ad as political – pointing out the ad team had worked for Obama or Eastwood was duped or the project wasn’t even shot in Detroit.
The ruckus of the pundits and “experts” exposed the glaring flaw that lies within the branding of the Republican establishment…the elephant in the room if you will.
Instead of having the foresight to create their own commercial… Instead of crafting a presentation that brands the Republican Party as a beacon for the future of this country… We are left with criticism. Well, it is easier to critique than it is to create.
The Republican establishment has relegated itself to the role of attack PAC as the Democrats continue to ride the train called Hope.
Rather than implementing Chrysler-like messaging and imagery, establishment groups spend millions of dollars promoting lack-luster attack ads appealing to the lowest common denominator. Washington based ad firms flood the airwaves with cookie cutter spots that only serve to remind people of what they loathe about politics. Not only is this the tired strategy of the past, but it is an ineffective waste of money. Template spots only add to the noise of the political season…barely resonating with viewers…like the used car commercials they ignore on the way to the fridge.
Americans are looking to be inspired. And it seems that the Republican media “masters” have learned nothing from the beating they took in 2008, as they lost…not to a man or a candidate, but a positive message of Hope and Change.
Americans respond to hope over fear, morning over midnight, and inspiration over slander.
Instead of focusing on the trivial aspects of where the piece was shot…who did it…and why Clint Eastwood was involved, Republicans should be looking at the effectiveness of the creativity within the ad itself. Use this as the great ‘teachable moment’ that inspired them to be better at their messaging and redirect their energy to engage on a higher level. There is no question that the Democrats are gearing up for a media onslaught of visual branding that will exceed the iconography of 2008.
Republicans should be saying…let’s do one better. Let’s plan a visual campaign that engages the American people through stirring and emotional themes. Let’s focus our dollars on media that rivals the style and artistic excellence of Hollywood and the ad agencies. Let’s make our creative mark with a presentation that arrests our nation’s attention as it translates America’s greatness. Let’s make a statement to our modern culture, rather than adding to the barrage of noise to which the people have grown numb.
The Chrysler ad shows that the car companies understand how creative messaging impacts the public. They get it…and the Democrats get it too. But as long as the Republicans leave the creativity and art of messaging to the other side, they will lose in the battle of imaging. Republicans will just keep churning out the generic, template ads as Obama coasts into another four years.
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