Trump explained by an advertising creative director

I’ve shied away from this topic during the primary season because it’s a radioactive hot potato that could blow up in my face. But it’s also very instructive to those who can see beyond their own biases. (Disclaimer: I’m a third party voter and will not be voting or supporting either Hillary or Donald here or anywhere.)

I do however see his campaign as instructive in the tools of advertising (which is the subject of this blog). If you can separate your emotions, bias and the real issues from what he’s doing and look at the mechanics, it’s very fascinating to watch. I will not be discussing the validity of his campaign, the issues, whether he is correct on facts or any of the other talking head stuff because it’s not instructive and mostly meaningless here.

Also, there’s so much misinterpretation of him I simply can’t do this all in one blog post. Therefore, we’ll take a bit at a time.

Let’s start with Trumps messaging (not issues). In advertising, we know that selling based on facts is boring. Trump doesn’t work in the world of facts. He works in the world of emotion, where us advertising folks do. Let’s see some advertising examples:

If I’m selling a car, like say a BWM, it’s “the Ultimate Driving Machine.” It’s certainly not a car with an engine that displaces only a little over three liters, has OK pickup compared to Korean make but get’s mediocre gas mileage due to it’s weight.

Or an all-inclusive corporate-owned resort filled with a bunch of people from big cities is better described emotionally as “The Antidote for Civilization.”

These phrases are meaningless when it comes to facts. But they do resonate emotionally with the core customers of both brands. A worn out city dweller feels like they want an antidote to all the stress. And a buyer of a quirky german vehicle wants to feel like they’re buying something truly special.

Trump’s messages also are filled with emotionally charged content directed at his core audience. Or they include charged language to bait the opposition and to create an angered response from the media.

Let me be clear. Trump is not trying to win the logical argument. He knows that won’t likely work as well as what he’s doing. He’s going for the emotional response. If you think he’s crazy, it very well may be the response he’s trying to get out of you. Watch out, this is only going to get more interesting as the election gets closer.

Posted on: August 10, 2016, by :