Why the 2016 Presidential Election..

Reminds Me of a Mobile Carrier Commercial.
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2016-presidential-election-race-and-branded-smear-marketing-tactics-used-by-American-companies-to-gain-acceptance-and-tarnish-competitive-imageryI really dislike discussing politics – especially this year’s presidential election. Not because I’m sensitive or secretive of my vote – but because of the inevitable backlash that follows any type of online opinion. At the same time, let’s all be real here.. Before our very own eyes (and through our personal initiatives), our country is turning into a hateful chatroom constantly challenging credibility, integrity, and – most importantly – unity. But, what’s the cause? Is generation X going to continue to blame millennials while the younger generation skips to their own beat? Are baby boomers understanding what’s transpiring or are they behind the technological curve? What sense is our youngest generation to make?

Identifying my frustration with the Election and Society.

There’s a lot to consider, but one thing I’d like to address is factual prerogatives that enhance one instead of lessening the other. This has been on display throughout several campaigns and presidential debates this year. At the same time, some say any publicity is good publicity – but is this always true? Identifying the weakness of your competition is very important – but is exposing this a good idea? As we witness a presidential election like no other, I want to touch on the correlation this has had on far too many recent ad campaigns. Maybe this is the link between our current society and this ridiculous election race.

The correlation between marketing and politics.

Alike current politics, some companies have begun to lean on competitor propaganda to enhance their reach. They’ve decided to ignore their actual value and belittle their competition. Channeling competitor weakness to improve your product or service can be a lot more rewarding – but that’s only my opinion. I wonder if both parties ever considered the ramifications for finger pointing. I wonder if they ever considered how ridiculously petty America is becoming. I mean, do we really want to be labelled as the blackmailing nation? Is that what new success looks like? Eek..

We have some serious issues on the table here, but far too often we’re discussing bias opinion on popularly or favor.  Both parties are missing me with this.. Your opinion is no better than mine – but, whatever happened to honesty, integrity, education, safety.. or even God? Who are we supposed to trust now? Why aren’t they giving us reasons to trust them? Why are some companies ignoring opportunities to enhance their brand? I guess it’s the new wave of.. politics? Similar to the presidential race, how are consumers supposed to know who to trust when marketers use this approach? Is the epidemic bigger than the election itself? Let me attempt to paint a picture here for you.

Consider Verizon’s New Campaign as an Example..

Have you seen these new smear campaigns by Verizon Wireless? Without hesitation, I think these ads are eerily similar to our current presidential race. Although Verizon owns a large portion of the mobile market share, they decided to use their adspend to insult and criticize other carriers. They compare an assortment of their benefits and features to their competitors in bullying fashion. They even went as far as saying Sprint and T Mobile are attempting to “be like them.” (Ie: Jaime Foxx) I get it, you’re performing well – but wait a minute – are you really performing or are you doing a better job at swaying the American people? This sounds far too familiar..

Brands, like Verizon, are beginning to understand that they can be successful by persuading consumers into believing they’re “better.” Key word: believe. Even more, they’re aligning themselves with celebrities to relay they’re “cooler.” For whatever reason, the people are eating this up! We’ve become a society so obsessed with popularity, comments, and likes that we’ve forgotten what quality or value even looks like. Verizon may very well be a “cooler” brand to invest in, but I’m looking for something that actually addresses my needs instead of reminding me how much better they are than my other options. As a strategist, this is pretty disappointing.

Is Customer Service Leaving with Integrity?

If you look at this even further, it tends to trickle down to customer service plans. How many times have you sat on the phone for hours with customer service without a solution? Is this the way of the future or am I being more biased than Patriot fans over Tom Brady’s suspension? Are we on the verge of a new American culture that’s forgotten about the user experience? How long will we choose to flock to opinions and tactful persuasion to make decisions? Is there even anything we can do?

Am I the only one frustrated while watching debates and left feeling dumber afterwards? Am I a different breed because I want to align with someone who can be an effective influence on our nation’s future? Lastly, does this make me wrong, stupid, ignorant, or a bigot for choosing one that checks off a majority of my personal (and family) initiatives? It almost makes you not want to vote.. Interesting..

I’ve physically seen someone switch their stance in order to conform. We all have. I’ve even been reprimanded for holding a stance. But how much different are the strategies of our current presidential candidates from our nation’s societal approach? It’s almost as if we’re slowly beginning to lose a voice but it’s simply being manipulated by smear marketing tactics. What happens to customer success rates when boasted proclamations never become a reality for the consumer? It turns into more complaining while additional opinions continue to swirl down the toilet bowl of desperation..

So, Who’s to Blame?

Our current society is filled with oppression and inconvenience that’s laid on us through influential media. Although we’ve developed massive advancements in technology, all it’s seemed to do is create a more needy and opinionated public perspective. We’re drawn to acceptance and willing to go to extreme measures to taste a little bit. It’s visible on the corporate level as well. Instead of working harder or more efficiently, we’re ripping others simply to gain an advantage. What’s even more scary – the larger the following, the more influential they happen to be.

Just over half a century ago, most families would gather around the TV set together. They relied on relationships to provide value while leveraging and bartering to accomplish objectives. Now, we huddle in corners of separate rooms on our smart devices ignoring the communicative nuances and respect of old. We think our opinion matters because we’re able to express it without consequence. We’ve become so privy to finger-tip answers that we’re apt to have a mental breakdown if our internet provider fails. Moreso, we’re easily swayed in the direction of something trending – subconsciously! If someone across the country comments on a post in a negative way, we actually think we’re going to make a difference by responding critically. Bashing has become “normal” yet we’re criticizing the presidential election for mirroring this to us.

What are we Supposed to Do About it?

Some of us literally feel helpless. We hardly ever discuss ideas or concepts, rather argue over who’s stance is superior – often walking away from conversations with no movement in either direction. Sometimes even avoiding possible confrontation. When there is conflict, we don’t know how to handle it maturely. This is how I’ve digested the presidential race thus far. Although it seems like candidates might begin promoting purposeful substance (a week before the polls open), the last few months has consisted of awkward “he said she said” propaganda geared towards defamation in hopes to gain popularity. Seems a little freshman-yearish to me..

So, has technology changed us, or are we now more influenced than ever? I believe it’s the ladder, and it surrounds a strong shift in marketing objectives. We’ve become so used to making someone feel lesser in order for to feel better that we’ve forgotten some of the values that our country was built upon. Now, I’m not saying this is a new approach by any means.. But, user technology has enhanced our access to relevant information from different perspectives. The only problem is, most of this information is based on bias opinion lacking substance. Even ads are.. At times, we’re forced to align with one side or the other instead of focusing on our personal needs and values. We’ve begun to lose all understanding.

Making Sense of Politics and Marketing..

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology – but when it’s not effective, it can be super unproductive. This is why I’m passionate about promoting value instead of bias or opinion. I’ve been labeled as “different” on several occasions, but I’ve never wavered from my stance on purposeful content and brand recognition. Focusing on the substance may not always be popular, but try to consider the message you’re inevitably conveying. You may gain the popular vote for the time being, but what happens when you put your foot in your mouth and lose a customer for life? Before you assume I’m being a hypocrite for pushing my perspective, I want you to truly consider the substance I’ve provided you with.

With all jokes aside, the 2016 presidential race reminds me of embarrassing smear marketing efforts that hurts everyone involved. After looking at this further, I realized this isn’t the only influence on the American society. Focusing on acquisition through negative gander isn’t going to solve anything – not matter how many likes or shares you get. Without a true leader that holds integrity on a pedestal, we can’t anticipate anything different moving forward. It’s up to us as a society to evolve into one and overcome our differences in order to pave the way for a better future. No matter who wins the election, I know I’m 100% on board for that..