Tell me why I should buy

Today’s post is about content marketing — specifically, the lowest form of content marketing: political advertising.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee, from the original edition of Through the Looking GlassOn three different days in the past two weeks the snail mail box has brought flyers from both candidates who are vying for a seat in our state legislature. Tweedledum’s ads all say that Tweedledee is unfit for election because he’s wrong about everything. Tweedledee’s ads say that Tweedledum is unfit because he once worked as (gasp) a lobbyist.

Here’s the thing: each candidate is so busy tearing down the other that he never says a word about why he himself might be the better choice.

(Here, parenthetically, is another thing: with all the money that’s flooding into  politics, it’s downright gruesome to watch these two candidates spend so much to design, print, and mail these flyers — only to cancel each other out. It’s like watching a couple of washed-up boxers punch each other senseless.)

It now appears that Tweedledum has gained a fundraising edge, because today’s mail brought another flyer from him without the usual rejoinder from Tweedledee. Yet this new flyer has  Tweedledee’s name all over it — with lurid prose explaining why he’s wrong about every conceivable issue, out of touch, not like you and me.

Tweedledum’s name appears just once, in tiny print, on the “authorized by” line.

Which brings us back to content marketing. If I remember my Marketing 101, I think that  my content should:

Give readers a reason to care. I suppose the implied message of he doesn’t value the same things as you is meant to do this. But if I like my eggs over easy, I don’t care if my state senator likes his poached. Perhaps I’m supposed to infer that Tweedle-whichever, if elected, plans to make everyone eat their eggs poached. But….really?

Showcase my brand. At minimum that would mean putting my name on my mailings, at least as often as my opponent’s name. Is it really enough for the reader to know which product not to buy?

Promote my product. In terms of a call to action, Tweedledee is a no good bum strikes me as beyond lame. Since Tweedledum can’t say anything good about himself, what should I do? Cast a write-in vote for Mickey Mouse? Skip voting altogether? Move to another district? Curl up into the fetal position?

Democracy is a precious and wonderful thing. Too many heroic people have risked everything for it, and they still are (see Hong Kong). For their sake, I refuse to skip voting. I’ll read up on the candidates and I’ll vote my conscience.

Democracy is a pain in the ass too. Especially when it’s practiced in the way my local candidates practice it. I know this has been going on for centuries. But would it be too much to ask of you, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, to behave as if you knew the first thing about content marketing?

Image: Wikimedia Commons; public domain



2 thoughts on “Tell me why I should buy

  1. juliovaz

    The reality ids that politicians on all levels have decided that the best way to garner votes is to tear down their opponent or pander to voters’ fears. I don’t think things were this bad during the Cold War or Vietnam.

    It makes you cry for true democracy and representation because we’ve lost both.

    1. Larry Kunz Post author

      Thanks, Julio. I wrote “this has been going on for centuries” and I guess I stand by that, since history is replete with examples of politicians insulting each other.

      But you make a good point when you compare today’s politics with earlier eras like Vietnam and the Cold War. Back then, at least, the politicians might have traded insults but they still had some respect for each other. They recognized that they all wanted the best for the country even if they disagreed on how to go about it. Today, the respect is gone and nothing is left except the insults. It’s pretty hollow and — as you said — very sad.


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