November 20, 2011

2012 Election: 9-1-1 Emergency!

If it's broken, fix it. 

Yes, we Republicans have a pretty sad lot going into the '12 elections. For the first time that I can remember,
even though I follow the process closely, I have no real excitement for it. Didn't think it was possible. I've finally decided that Romney is my candidate- but really, there's no love there. As for everyone else the names are all over the map..Bachmann, Perry vs Romney, Romney vs Cain, and...Gingrich? *sigh* But there is one point most conservatives seem to agree on: Obama’s time is done. The 2012 election is in the bag.

Stop. Rewind. Reality check. It’s when we start thinking this way that things start going south and instead of clinching victory, jaws drop and we wonder what just happened. When it comes to taking advantage of positive outcomes and making gains from sinking Democrat ratings, this year party leaders seem intent on sabotaging opportunity and turning the tables against themselves. Really, true story.

If it weren’t for Obama’s toilet ratings, we wouldn’t have a chance.

The election process signals an opportunity for a changing of the guards. Its an opportunity for parties to show the people what they can offer and why it's better than the competition. Right now, I'm thinking Canada might be a nice place to live in 2013.

Image is Key
Fragmentation, religious extremism, overstepping, the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude, and sheer stupidity in front of the camera is wreaking havoc on our party image not to mention our end game. It’s not loyal Republicans or religious extremists the party needs to win over- it’s everyone else and that requires creating (and maintaining) positive public perception of what we can and are doing. On that front-Fail.

Case(s) in point…

  • A dumbed-down decade? Bachmann kills us with her gift of knowledge for economic policy and US history..over and over again. Bachmann, Perry, Romney..engaging in foreign policy debates without bringing foreign policy knowledge, or facts, to the table. The televised debates- just painful. What happened to preparation? Someone should show these peeps a job posting for the position they're applying. Fact checker anyone? I'll work for cheap.
  • Religion as politics: Religion has always had a place in the party platform and, in small subtle doses, can enhance the presidential presentation. After all, this country wasn’t founded by a bunch of non-believers. But fundamentalists with political ambitions? Hard right wingers don’t represent the party majority (or the national majority) and yet we’ve been seeing them too much in press and hearing too much from their representatives.
*Remember the end game; remember the audience* Solution: Stop giving these people a microphone.
  • 2011 budget: We stood firm on total cuts needed and I applauded those efforts; in the end we got most of what we asked for. Hoorah. And then we overstepped with Planned Parenthood funding using the premise of spend reduction. Really. Inconsequential to the total budget and one of the few government spends producing long term saves. Threatening a shutdown is one thing but stepping dangerously close to letting it happen is called sabotaging a good thing. Supremely bad press. Think Big Picture. Obviously this was about other agendas. We had an opportunity to come out on top and we came out looking ready and willing to undermine progress simply to open doors for overturning Roe v Wade. Seriously? Score 1 for the Democrats.
  • Debt ceiling agreement: holding up the process in the final stretch demanding the exclusion of provisions that ultimately ended up in the final package anyway (i.e., tax hikes, defense cuts). The point? Democrats got what they wanted and we looked like the Grinch who nearly stole Christmas. *maybe we need better press people* Surprisingly, a lot of Republicans think we got a huge win. Apparently they skipped over the fine print details of the role of the super committee. clap-clap-clap for the asses; boot in the rear for Republicans.

United we stand
Or not.
What’s Prince Reibus been doing these days anyway…

Public bickering between leaders, dissension of core ideas, Republican party Republicans versus Tea Party Republicans, no strong frontrunner... Romney may be leading the pack but the ongoing fluctuation of top frontrunners, begging for Chris Christie's candidacy, the fact that Gingrich is still in..clear indications that mainstream Republicans do not have a strong allegiance to Romney or the other candidates and in general, feel we're pretty much at a low point with the candidate pool. Who to pick, who to pick. And oh yes, only one has a real shot of beating Obama anyway.

So, in the bag? At the end of 2010 that outcome seemed a real possibility. Now we have to fight even harder to make it reality. Time to change our tune and do it smartly or the direness of the last four years will end with "another 4 years"..

March 1, 2010

The Superbowl Snooze: The Good and The Bad

My friend wondered where my commentary was for this year’s Superbowl ads so here goes... *I’m three weeks behind but whatever* In short, from what I saw, someone definitely hit the snooze button on my Superbowl ad party. Folks in the biz, I was not impressed. For most of this years’ ads, the general reaction was, ‘eh, I saw this last year I think’.

There were, however, a few that stood out – both good and bad. Let’s review some of the more memorable ones and those we hope never to see again...


1. Google - Parisian Love

Two thumbs up for this ad. Simple, powerful, effective; we get it. The ad starts us off with someone doing a Google search on ‘study abroad in Paris’ then takes us through a cute love story between some American guy and a Parisian girl - all through the use of Google’s powerful search engine.

This commercial feels vaguely reminiscent of the Chase card commercial depicting a relevant Chase card for every major point in your life from singledom and having fun to falling in love, getting married, having a family, retirement. It just makes you feel good. We get it. Using Google for relationship advice? Beautiful.It’s just one of the things that make this ad completely relevant from an audience perspective. How many people haven’t done this... The cute back story just pulls it all together. *Clap-clap-clap for Google and their first Superbowl ad*

2. FLOTV - Injury Report

Poor, poor Jason: forced to shop instead of watch the Superbowl.I know many guys that probably felt the pain of this scenario all too well.I thought this was cute and a dry, entertaining way. "Injury report: Jason’s girlfriend has removed his spine rendering him incapable of watching the Superbowl...Change outta that skirt Jason.” Classic. It’s not terribly hilarious but guys get it (and so do some of the ladies – you know who you are). The straight-forward dry humor coupled with the “I get it” factor is what makes it work.*chuckle, chuckle*

3. Doritos - Tie between Casket and Kids These Days (at the vending machine)

Some classicly 'decent' Doritos commercials - nothing that really blew my socks off, but these two made me chuckle fairly consistently so they make the list. One thing I will say for Doritos and Co - they understand the entertainment factor: keep it short, keep it simple, make us laugh (and, make us hungry for Doritos). For me it was a tie between The Casket and the Vending Machine – both clever and fun, both made me hungry. Particularly in the Casket version...all those Doritos..yumm. *Score*

Too bad the guy wasn’t so mouth-watering though..*ickk*

On that note...really, Doritos should play up the hot man factor just a little...after all, women viewers are more likely to watch the Superbowl commercials, they're more likely to do the shopping (and therefore, buy the Doritos for the next house party) and they currently make up almost half of the Superbowl viewing audience. That makes the hot-man factor equally as relevant as the hot-woman factor played in so many other Doritos commercials. Doritos et al: work on that eye candy would ya???


1. Audi - Green Police

People want to be entertained, not sit there feeling like an ass. This commercial had me debating the top three things I felt like doing most while watching that commercial: bathe in a tub of foam and plastic, pollute the Pacific- drop an oil tanker, fly to Alaska-club a baby seal. Probably not a good thing. *I can almost feel the e-tomatoes flying* This commercial takes the ‘Going Green’ concept and slaps you in the face with it in a way that is neither funny nor appreciated.

Audi so strongly identified with the Green Police in this ad that I had no desire to go out and get one. In fact, I was feeling rather anti-Audi after the ad. Who wants to associate with a brand that says you’ll be arrested for having your hot tub too hot (helloooo 'hot' tub...) or drinking from a foam or plastic cup (hellooooo Superbowl...?). It’s annoyingly over-the-top comedy and headache-inducing Green Police jingle just make you want to do bad take the Audi A3 TDI for a test drive – right into oncoming traffic or better, the Green Police.

Moving on...

2. Dove for Men - Journey to Comfort

Where to begin? For me, this ad fails on so many levels. You can just see the outer lining of a good concept, but somewhere during the execution phase the good concept just went bad. The tagline is about men going through the difficulties of a young man, a husband, father, point-man – and having to handle the pressures and expectations (like the responsibility of kids, the lawn, dishes...the wife). Presumably, according to the ad, men handle it because that’s what real men do so be comfortable with the man you are and the life you have.

Heh? Sorry. Simply put, the message doesn’t match ‘the message.’ The message in this ad is really about “acceptance and resignation.”

Instead of feeling the intended: “I’m a man and I’m comfortable with my life, my manhood and my responsibilities” what I got was more along the lines of: “I was doing fine right up until I met my wife. I now despise my life, I’m a pussy and a drone but whatever...cheers *insert sappy smile and cue the cheesy end-music*”

At the end of the commercial I’m asking myself two questions:

1) how many married men sadly identified with this commercial, and

2) how many single men are crossing marriage off the to-do list or debating a 10-year delay...

From a marketing perspective, this ad is so targeted it almost says unless you are a married man who despises his life and deals with it with acceptance and resignation – this soap isn’t for you. Not very effective marketing when more than 35% of male SB viewers are between the ages of 18-34. This ad alienates the vast majority of that potential.

But, having said that....I'd be interesting to know which of you liked the ad and why....

3. US Census - Snapshot of America

Of course this had to be on the list....

How much did the government pay for the 3rd quarter spot and all those vignettes?

And...why? Thank you government for putting my tax dollars to work so effectively. And for the record, the ad sucked.