I’m not as interested in politics as I am in the marketing of each candidate’s brand -- and Donald Trump’s run for president may be the most brilliant native ad campaign of all time.
Advertising’s first promise is to raise awareness, right? Is there a platform out there that can rack up more media exposure then running for President of the United States? Now factor in the efficiency of using other people’s money to fund this media plan, and this becomes the most efficient advertising campaign of all time, too.
Before Trump entered the Republican primary, his name was at best a cocktail party topic. Today, he has the complete attention of almost 300 million people in the United States. Millions more “over there” are asking what’s going on “over here” with this Trump guy.
Each candidate clearly wants to win this race. However, unlike Hillary Clinton, who has been working toward the presidency since she entered the business of politics, Trump saw running for president as an amazing business opportunity where he wins even if he loses.
Rumors of launching Trump TV aside, Trump’s core real estate business is no longer building things directly. He is in the business of licensing the Trump brand to other developers who then go on to build hotels, condos, and other kinds of properties. By having these developers pay for the rights to attach the Trump name to a project, the Donald cashes in before a room gets rented. Developers get to charge a premium price because the Trump brand, with all the gold trimmings, is affixed to the property.
This presidential run has made the Trump name exponentially bigger domestically and internationally, which in his business mind will fuel further expansion of his real estate licensing business. Only time will tell if this strategy works, but there is no denying the gain in brand awareness he has already achieved for almost zero dollars of his own.
Both candidates are pathetically reckless with the truth. Both are significantly flawed. However, when Hillary Clinton speaks about “the issues,” she does so with more authenticity, based on her experience working in government. The only time Trump truly sounds authentic is when he speaks about himself. Anything outside of that circle, and he sounds far less authentic -- just like native advertising.
On Nov. 9, for better or worse, Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States -- and Donald Trump will say he never really wanted the job. This will leave his supporters feeling duped, the same way native advertising makes consumers feel when they recognize they gave their hard-earned attention to content with a hidden agenda.