R. O. I. When you’re managing an underperforming brand, these three letters will come to get you. They will haunt your nights and send shockwaves through your long days at the office.
In Mike Bloomberg’s case, he chose to skip the first four races in the Democratic Primary, which cost him more than votes (BREAKING NEWS…Bloomberg drops out of race). He made an expensive bet on Super Tuesday instead. His campaign blanketed the airwaves, sent millions of direct mail pieces, and hired a large team of door-to-door sales reps. But it didn’t result in much of a return. The former mayor of NYC won just one contest on Super Tuesday—American Samoa, which granted him six delegates.
The Product Has To Match The Advertising
Big Mike has a large bankroll, but he does not have the commanding personality to go with it.
Not like Don.
The past week blew that “advertising works if you spend enough” narrative out of the water, huh.
— Patrick Coffee (@PatrickCoffee) March 4, 2020
Patrick Coffee is correct to note that it takes more than media dollars to move people. In the business of politics, you need earned media, a solid ground game, and a heaping helping of good luck.
You also need ads that break the mold. For all of Bloomberg’s reach, his messages (and his delivery) are milquetoast.
His campaign could make much better ads, although there’s not much they can do with the candidate himself. He is who he is. But that doesn’t mean his advertising or his future Beat Don Trump-focused ads also need to stay between the lines.
In the time of Trump, ads and everything else a brand or candidate does have to hit much harder, or risk invisibility.
Awareness Is A Good Start, But It’s Never Enough
Mark DiMassimo, a co-founder of DiMassimo Goldstein, wrote a solid summary of why Bloomberg’s ads are failing to convert.
“Brands are built through every touchpoint.” Yes, yes, and more yes. Awareness must be quickly followed by consideration, purchase, and preference. Or the brand is in trouble.
DiMassimo calls for listening as a means to address connectivity. I appreciate the lofty call to action. Even though it’s doubtful that this billionaire or any other ultra-privileged man will hear the call and embark on a listening tour of American communities anytime soon.
His personal posture is standoffish. His body language says that he’s well above the fray, that slinging insults at one’s rivals is a silly pastime for commoners, and that extreme wealth is the ultimate insulator.
Vice President Biden, for one, is not this rich white man, although he is a rich white man. Biden—who now has the full support of Big Mike—goes overboard in the other direction.
“Winning means uniting America,” says Biden. He’s correct, but what’s not in the ad is how. How do we do it? It’s not something that a politician can deliver on. It’s something that we, the people, must want for ourselves and our neighbors, and we must want it badly enough to do something about it.