Yesterday, I published an article on LinkedIn called, “The Pursuit of Brand Truth Is The Real Work of Advertising Professionals.”
This is how the article starts: Advertisers want to place their products and services in the best possible light. It’s a natural desire and a legitimate business concept. The problems start when brand managers think that “the best possible light” has anything at all to do with make-believe. It does not.
In the political arena, placing your candidate in the best possible light is also necessary. Sadly, when you’re tasked with promoting a corrupt-to-the-core public official, it takes an avalanche of lies to achieve.
The GOP has been playing from the same Rovian book for decades. Rove’s primary strategic insight is so simple, you’d think it would fall on its face, but it doesn’t. The tactic used over and over by the GOP is to name the crimes being committed by the GOP, but assign the blame for them to the enemy, a.k.a. the Democrats.
The GOP has mastered doublespeak, and doublespeak works. It works because it’s a well-funded counter-narrative that touches an emotional soft spot in certain viewers. When you identify with “owning the Dems,” any lie will do.
This particular doublespeak is backed by a $10M media buy. When you can “own the airwaves,” you can control the narrative.
Trump’s ad about Joe Biden is a disgrace. Every one of us needs to call this exactly what it is: propaganda. Doing anything less is playing right into his hands.
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 27, 2019
Biden’s fellow Democrat Beto O’Rourke, also seeking the party’s presidential nomination, said Trump’s false attack ad must be identified and condemned by its proper name.
“Trump’s ad about Joe Biden is a disgrace. Every one of us needs to call this exactly what it is: propaganda. Doing anything less is playing right into his hands.”