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What if Trump Wrote Ad Copy?

By Bob Rose, President

In the late-stage marketing environment we now inhabit, companies struggle against a competitive sea of sameness, and in a media environment that allows audiences to avoid selling messages as if they were the Zika virus.

Here, in 2016, after a couple of centuries of branding efforts, true product differentiation is rare. And when a product offers something new, it doesn’t stay new for very long. Competitors rush to match any product enhancements and quickly return the eco-system to commodity status. That’s why so many Hyundais look like Mercedes and the Microsoft Surface 4 isn’t much different from the MacBook Air.

Add to this product mush the idea that consumer receptivity to marketing messages is in the state of active avoidance. DVR’s and Ad Blockers aren’t going away, and probably are just the beginning of the empowered consumer’s quest for a commercial-light life.

But there is an emerging solution, one inspired by the historically raucous political season we are bearing witness to. Get ready for the next wave of breakthrough marketing.

We are entering the era of Insult Marketing.

How did Trump stand out among 17 qualified (commodity) competitors? How does Bernie continue to stay in a race that was Hilary’s (an Obama line extension) to win from the beginning? Why are the crowds at their events so fervent? Why are TV ratings so high when they appear? And most importantly, how can companies tap into their marketing approaches to generate the same un-bridled passion for their products?

Easy -- put direct, often un-true, offensive attacks against your competitors on the front burner.

The days when corporations avoid controversy is coming to a close. People want to hear something scintillating, not more droning on about sensible ideas or product benefits.

Here’s how a commercial might look if the Donald were copywriter-in-chief for, say, Kentucky Fried Chicken:

Colonel Sanders enters the scene, a table with three place settings-- a bucket of KFC, a spread of Chipotle burritos and a third setting with a Cheesy Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell.

The Colonel surveys the array of fast food, and then speaks directly to camera…

Okay, that’s as far as I go with this.

I guess some us are not quite ready for the next wave of breakthrough marketing strategy.

But then, if we would be offended by insults in our commercials, why not in our presidential candidates?

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