Why Doesn’t Dennis’ Brand of Common Sense Sell?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. voting changes what? says:

    You are a real peace loving hippie in nice clothing and who doesn’t smoke pot. You understand what it is to live out of a car.
    You are short and didn’t mind standing next to John (secret society) Kerry. It’s almost like being a really tall girl and knowing that the majority of men over 5 foot 10 inches are going to pass you over for submissive petite quiet chicks.
    Not many in America could understand that. It is like not running you airconditioning in midwestern heat, and at the same time driving on ice filled roads to get to work everyday. Yesteryear we had lots of this in the midwest. I call it fortitude. I smile at the life guards at the pool, the workers in manhole covers, and the landscapers keeping the rich people’s yards in order everyday. They know real extremes even if they are not military heroes. They are the people in my neighborhood, and they can take the heat.
    They used to be America. Now I am not so sure. I used to think America deserves bettr politicians. Now the winners get what they give, don’t they?

  2. where's clint eastwood? says:

    i’m not sure exactly why, but common sense went out the window in american politics some years back. sure the extreme right is partially to blame, whipping up hysteria over nothing, all the time for years now. but also the democratic party seems clueless as to how to be an effective opposition party.
    Kucinich is a good example. he talks a lot of common sense. good old american common sense. and nobody’s buying, like you say. he’s somehow a “radical” while rove et al aren’t.
    i think the media in this country also has done a lousy job of maintaining any semblance of perspective on the situation. with very few exceptions, they’re not helping.
    personally i really fear for this country right now. and i fear it’s getting worse.
    i emigrated here from a less than perfect country 15 years ago. now i’m questioning the wisdom of the move. (cue “go back to where you came from” remarks). the USA is sliding/has slid into extremism for no good reason.
    it feels like this to me. you remember the old clint eastwood western “High Plains Drifter”? The snivelling, money-grubbing merchants hired Clint to kill some outlaws they’d double-crossed? and then he turns on the merchants?
    well right now it feels like the snivelling merchants are in power. and we need a clint eastwood! pronto.

  3. Indiana Gividen says:

    “Dennis’ Brand of Common Sense” does not sell because it is not sexy. Sexy sells. Aggressive men with backbone are sexy. Just ask JFK.

  4. Ken,
    is that why you are not govenor of Indiana or is it your politics?

  5. Indiana,
    Agreed. Dennis’ problem is largely a packaging problem. Of course, this packaging problem is also the nation’s problem. We choose style over substance, 99.9% of the time. And that leads to the kind of “Cowboys and Indians” leaderlessness we’ve enjoyed since 2001.
    Putting that aside, I’m really asking the AdPulp audience if there’s anything that can be done to address this “packaging” problem. Landing the Kucinich account would certainly be one of the more interesting marketing challenges of our time.

  6. Kucinich, like Ron Paul, is almost breath-taking in his honesty and adherence to principles. he could have a Ross Perot-like appeal if he got a forum like Perot had in Larry King. he’s a refreshing change from slick-but-creepy politicians like Hillary and Romney. he’s entertaining. he should go with that. maybe add a banjo to the mix.

  7. A banjo. That’s perfct. Now we’re on to something.