Messaging: How would direct marketers fine-tune the presidential election?

Ok, give us a little leeway here. Election 2016 is entering high noon in the summer, and all candidates have the knives out for each other. Bernie Sanders is still slugging away, Hillary Clinton is hitting Donald Trump hard, and Trump is doing his usual thing on Twitter.  All have taken the lessons from the 2012 Obama campaign when Obama for America brought “targeted, direct marketing to the political arena at a level that had never before been imagined. By Election Day there were 40 million names on the President’s email list, compared to just 4 million on Mitt Romney’s,” according to DM News. As an example, the Obama campaign’s creative pioneered the use of the salutation “Friend” which is now standard for all candidate email initiatives.

So it’s clear that direct marketers are the real geniuses here. The science and targeting capabilities of our world are responsible for millions of campaign dollars generated from everyday people. Moving beyond the medium, and as we enter the next phase of the big race, the focus becomes more on the message.  Direct marketers will likely weigh in on campaign messaging based on key target group research, along with chief strategists and the candidates themselves (if we ever get down to the Final Two).

We thought it would be fun to imagine campaign messaging as if direct marketers truly ruled the election. You know—if our native impatience in taking the order, our relentless pursuit of the relationship, and our classic tactics were the key points made by the candidates for the highest office in the land. (Of course, since many of our most useful secrets are already in use by political campaigners, this exercise involves bending all current election rules to suit our over active imaginations.)

Herewith, our top messages and strategies we’d like to hear from the candidates (wink, wink):

  • But there’s more! With each vote, campaigns offer the voter a free gift with purchase, including a lock of the candidates’ hair (if they have any), a meaningless Free Guide to Anything, and a blank DVD.
  • Switch now and save! Get voters to change parties and candidates at the last minute, thus wreaking havoc with advance results profiling, in return for a tax break.
  • BOGO! Make a contribution to your candidate’s campaign, and elect the following president absolutely free without the need of another election in four years.
  • You’re pre-approved! Register to vote now and you’ll receive this Black Amex Card, fully loaded with Kim and Kanye’s spending limit.
  • Respond to win! Boffo tie-in: cast your ballot from your iPhone by Skype, Snapchat or text “Prezzy” and register to win the Powerball Jackpot.
  • Last Chance! Vote early and often, or you won’t be allowed to on Election Day.

Apologies to the Founding Fathers.

Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn


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