Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Ads & Negative Campaigning

One thing many people look forward to is the end of an election season. Not because they dream of seeing their candidates being sworn into office, but because it means the end of the advertising.

One constant complaint we hear is how campaigning is getting nastier & nastier every year. I think much of that is natural and due to the fact that everything seems to be more extreme this year than last year. Fact is time takes the edge off of everything (even hoppy hoppy beer).

I think though there is something to the complaint and this is it: It is not that campaigning is nastier, it is that is much easier for campaigns to get their messages into your head; this goes for both the positive communications as well as the negative communications.

In the Philippines relatively few people have land based phones but cell phones are very widespread. Why? Its easier & cheaper to provide phone service with a E&M signal than to wire up every house in a region. True here as well.

It is much easier for campaigns to place an ad on the TV show or radio show you watch than for you to read the ad in the newspaper or to come out to a debate or speech. In the past before radio & TV, candidates had no choice but to use print or direct contact to reach out to voters.

Now, how many of us are going to keep the TV or radio off? We do not do it so therefore we are just going to get hammered by the ads during campaign season.