Can’t It Just Be A Product, Not A Value Judgement?

Political advertising depresses me.  All the accusations and mudslinging make me worry for the future of civility in our increasingly shout-driven culture.  I plan to vote for at least two candidates based solely on the tone of their radio advertising–call me Pollyanna, but it’s the only way I can reward behavior I endorse.

Dennis Ryan, Element 79, Chicago AdvertisingSo I was almost too burned out to care this past Monday when Advertising Age posted an article that purported to delineate the differences between red brands and blue brands.  Apparently, certain consumer goods earn the preference of one political party over another.  Or at least, that’s what the pollsters at YouGov believe, after publishing their latest BrandIndex survey.

As someone who has sworn off all non-sports television viewing until after the election, this data feels like yet another unnecessarily divisive issue for this country. Okay, so Google is the number one brand for Democrats and yet it doesn’t even make the Republican’s Top Ten…  And Fox News is top for Republicans while it certainly doesn’t make the Democrats Top, well, pick an integer…  How does knowing this bring anything positive to the debate?

To me, YouGov’s truly interesting findings are the universal brands like UPS, FedEx, Craftsman, and Cheerios.  What makes them successful in a non-partisan way?  What gives them cross-aisle appeal?  Not being a researcher, I don’t have a ready reply, but those are questions worth asking, whether you’re a brand or a candidate.

Maybe the way to increase your appeal to everybody is to focus on what we have in common, on what we share, rather than on how hard the other side sucks eggs. It’s just a thought…


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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