Commentary

Going Russian: Importing Rogue Political Media Plans

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?

Seems like there was an “experiment” going on in Senate race in Alabama where Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore last year. Democratic technology folks started a small test to see if Russian-like Facebook memes, tactics, and other content could sway the election toward Jones.

What did they do? Start a Facebook page in which they posed as conservative Alabamans trying to divide Republicans, including a write-in candidate to take votes from Moore.

According to The New York Times, the effort linked Moore’s campaign to thousand of Russian accounts.

But all this, according to one executive, was just a research project to “explore how certain online tactics worked, not to affect the election.” It was to “understand how these kinds of campaigns operated.”

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The tech research effort only had a budget of $100,000, versus $51 million, the total spent in media for the Alabama Senate race.

For many, the biggest honor for any teacher is when knowledge and teachings are absorbed by students who then use and expand on the wisdom. Russian trolls must now be proud; so many hope to emulate their efforts.

For years, marketers have done legitimate, so-called “guerrilla" marketing and media campaigns around special big TV events — advertisers that declined to buy big, pricey sponsorships on a major network for the Super Bowl or the World Series.

Instead, they might just buy local TV advertising inventory, in the national spot marketplace, on top market TV stations where the Super Bowl of World Series is airing.

Does the U.S. advertising business for political campaigns need to find another way? Is this where the media world is headed —  rogue marketing and media players as tools to gain marketing knowledge?

For decades, consumers have looked at advertising as being manipulative. What's next?

Well, one thing is for sure. Despite the findings of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, President Trump doesn’t believe the Russians had anything to do with manipulating -- by social media or other means -- the 2016 presidential election or possibly other political races.

Phew. I was worried for a second. Now, all things are cleared up. I’m ready to view the latest postings on Facebook.

1 comment about "Going Russian: Importing Rogue Political Media Plans".
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  1. Kenny Kurtz from creative license, January 2, 2019 at 10:09 a.m.

    Is this where the media world is headed — rogue marketing and media players as tools to gain marketing knowledge?

    Are attempts being made to manipulate the tools that spend all day on Fakebook by Russia? Indeed. But Russia (USSR) has been busy attempting to manipulate all things America for decades (ditto on our side)... why make a big deal of it now? In fact, now, with the ability for anybody and everybody to manipulate anything and everything online, it seems most sensible that it all winds up being nothing more than a zero sum game, especially when you consider that it's primarily the tools that get their manufactured "truth" from places like Fakebook that are in play.

    Thought manipulation has been around since the beginning of time, and will be with us at time's end, as well. Perhaps what Trump doesn't believe is NOT that manipulation attempts are not occurring, (he's smart enough to know that thay are) but he's smarter than most to know that the manipulative propaganda seeded by both sides cancel each other out, or cause people to dig deeper (not a bad thing).

    Those 17 intelligence agencies (what a WASTE of resources) have only FOUND OUT that attempts to manipulate still exist, are alive and well, on all sides. DUH!

    Didn't vote for the insolent buffoon, but Trump is correct in stating his belief that all the nonsensical FAKE persuasion/dissuasion tactics in play DO NOT, and never will add up to a hill of beans worth talking about. The left should know that pressing all this FAKENESS is going to backfire on them.

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