4 advertising lessons to learn from this election

So the first ‘lessons we can learn from this election’ articles are beginning to emerge in the mainstream media.  Below is an abbreviation of a really good article written by Andrew Harrison – Chief Executive of the RadioCentre – in Marketing Week:

First, predictive research, which anticipates how someone might behave in a hypothetical situation (“If there were a general election tomorrow, how might you vote?”) is a lot less reliable than actual behavioral research (for instance, an exit poll that asks “How did you just vote?”)…Good research is the best data we have; believe it and act on it, don’t be in denial of it – especially when it’s telling you what you might not want to hear.

Second, this election reminded all of us of the real pulling power of old media…This was, in fact, an election battle transformed by weekly TV debates – delivering multiple-million audiences – and shaped by the ensuing press response.

The third lesson is equally fundamental: having identified the appropriate media channel with which to engage your target consumer, you still need to deliver memorable advertising – with a compelling proposition, drama and a memorable selling line.  Just 24 hours after the closest-fought election in a generation, most people were hard pushed to recall a single poster, slogan or party political broadcast. Great brands deserve iconic campaigns

Finally, the most valuable lesson of the election was reserved for all of us involved in brand equity, which is that great brands stay true to their principles – they don’t break covenants with the consumer, don’t do deals, and don’t change strategy whenever an opportunity arises. That’s the route to short-term volume gain and long-term equity erosion. In the words of the textbook, they are “built to last”. Unlike coalitions.

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