Tough-Guy Political News Brand Association: Lower Your TV Advertising Expectations

Political TV advertising can be overrated.

Stick with news reports and other publicity. 

Here's a headline that proves it: “The Michigan Gubernatorial Candidate Who Was Just Arrested for Rioting on Jan. 6 Leads Primary Polls.”

How can this be? Well, a tough guy image goes a long way -- a good, long rap sheet, which can include egging on a crowd to attack the U.S. Capitol.

Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley, a real estate agent, is leading his party in a recent primary poll with a -- ahem -- massive 17% number in political support.

On June 9, federal agents arrested Kelley and charged him with four crimes related to participation in the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol.



Kelley's YouTube channel currently has 525 subscribers for 90 videos and one 2 minute/51 second TV commercial has gotten 7,000 YouTube views. Maybe some video of him in a TV commercial taking him into custody would be beneficial.

Don’t worry about his policy. He wants a return to something called “trust and integrity.” What more do you need? A call for lower taxes, less regulation, tougher border restrictions?

Meanwhile, we have seen plenty of candidates with guns in TV commercials, all suggesting their support of the Second Amendment.

How does one come up with new creative ideas here?

The bottom line is that Michigan incumbent Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer currently has a wide lead in the polls.

To be sure, TV advertising is extremely important in the political marketing of candidates and in overall political messaging. But “earned” TV impressions from the news media -- as any good marketer knows -- also instills increased brand awareness. Brand favorability and examination is something else entirely.

Given what is now a wider range of TV platforms and outlets, it would make sense to tap up one's rep with some sizzle -- social media and all its good and misleading permutations can work, especially if voters continue to avoid doing the work to know a candidate's background, history and actions.

And if this new level of marketing doesn't work, we could do what Kelley suggested in January -- telling an audience of Republicans they should unplug voting machines if they ever suspect Democrats are using them to commit fraud.

However... attempting to unplug a voting machine is illegal. Maybe Kelley has a strong position on solar power.

Next story loading loading..