Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Dozen Jelly-Filled Strategies

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct. ~Thomas Jefferson

When an ad campaign is in trouble, not delivering for the client, the client is wise to accept a change in strategy. As Hillary Clinton's campaign sputters (and let's not fool ourselves, running for national office is all about PR and advertising) she changes messaging from one day to the next as her senior strategists float various themes to see what might catch on. One day in Texas she is the conciliatory, gracious lady, and in two days she is the scolding bully, calling her opponent out for a knife fight in Ohio. One day she is the chili-pepper eating lover of all things Latin with deep roots in border towns, the next she is your Midwesterner blue-collar buddy working the night shift alongside you. She's change, she's experience, she's tested. She's a mom, a sister and a tough-as-nails fighter. She's red wine and roses. She's a shirt-sleeves ditch digger. And her latest, most desperate message yet: Hope is Stupid.

But nothing is catching on, and the enormous salaries being paid to her back room spinners are finally coming into question.

Probably one of the most cold-blooded mercenaries ever to work in the game, Howard Wolfson, defends his January salary of $267,000 this way: “Fees and payments are in line with industry standards,” Mr. Wolfson said. “Spending priorities have been consistent with overall strategic goals.” I don't even know what that means, but it sure sounds like PR guy bullshit.

The supposed best minds in advertising and public relations are looking like a group of idiots right now. But in their defense, I have to wonder what would happen if Hillary were to fire her assembled dream team of experts and replace them with another. The new team might just end up in the same place - unable to deliver results.

So maybe it's not the message. Maybe it's the product. Expect to see books out in the next few months authored by those behind the scenes. They will have titles like Selling the Unsellable, Packaging a Politician, Beaten by Barack and The Microtrend We Never Saw Coming.

Speaking of products, Dunkin' Donuts is getting some free advertising with all the reports about the Clinton campaign's overspending. Not sure if that helps Dunkin' or hurts them.

UPDATE: (and perhaps worthy of it's own post) The social media watchers at Dunkin' Donuts are all over it, commenting here within 5 hours of posting. That's pretty impressive for a Sunday afternoon. Check the comments section.

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  • Speaking of Dunkin' Donuts, check out this PSA.

    **Public Service Announcement**
    Your Fix Is In:

    A certain upscale, green-logo'd mackaccino chain will be closing its doors on Tuesday night, February 26, for a mass barista training exercise (stop inhaling the retail, kids?).

    You can tell your friends most likely to explode into a caffeine-withdrawal freak-fit that Dunkin' Donuts will be filling in with a 99¢ latte/cappuccino special from 1-10PM. And you know, chocolate-glaze donuts with pink sprinkles, 24-7.

    By Anonymous Dunkin D, at February 24, 2008 at 6:34 PM  

  • And if Pizza Hut or Domino's was listening in, special offer to Obama supporters when they text 11000. (For the $11,ooo she spent on pizza.)

    As for the ‘Hope is stupid’ message, is she kidding? Fuck. That’s the very thing Bill rode all the way in to the WH back in '92 while she clapped and danced to that dumbass song up on stage.

    And if Obama’s people are listening in, next time she appears on a CNN debate, please, don't give her kudos for attempting health care, ask her why if she's been at it so long, (since what, 1994 or so), why she hasn’t been able to seal the deal?

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at February 25, 2008 at 1:39 AM  

  • Damn it, I thought this post was about donuts. :p

    Sometimes I wonder if she's betting on most Americans acting like an ADD 13 year-old off their medication. If no one is paying attention, she can act as schizo as she wants to.

    But then again, I think most companies bet on that these days.

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at February 25, 2008 at 10:26 AM  

  • I kinda feel sorry for her back room folks. Its true that great products sometimes don't make it because of poor marketing. But its also true that horrible products usually don't make it, even with the best of marketing. Ya'll can decide for yourself which situation this is.

    And, for what it's worth... DUNKIN DONUTS SUCK... I don't care if they're on special or not.

    By Blogger TexanInHippieland, at February 25, 2008 at 10:54 AM  


    Don't hold back. :p

    I was getting ready to disagree with you and then realized that I actually don't buy my donuts from DD, I buy them at a local place. The only reason I have to go to DD is that there's a Baskin Robbins in the same store.

    Um, okay back to politics even though they may not be as delicious. ;)

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at February 26, 2008 at 9:29 AM  

  • I feel compelled to stand up and say that I like the coffee at Dunkin Donuts.I even like the atmosphere, if you can call it that. And I like the price.For me coffee doesn't rise to the level of a lifestyle enhancing choice that must reflect my sophisticated sensibilities. Takes all kinds, as they say.

    By Anonymous ouija refurb, at February 26, 2008 at 11:43 AM  

  • Yes, their coffee is awesome. And so is McDonald's.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at February 26, 2008 at 11:59 AM  

  • And so is McDonald's.

    I kinda love McDonald's coffee. Plus they add my cream so I don't scald myself trying to add it as I drive to work.

    Good coffee and safety conscious. ;)

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at February 28, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

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