My name is Don and I approve this message.
Every four years, I brace for the invasion of attack ads about political candidates. It takes the quadrennial presidential election to really drive me nuts. I assume there is research that shows such demeaning affronts can influence voting behavior. However, these tactics certainly go against the principles of fairness and humanity we attempt to cultivate in our daily lives.
Let’s say you applied this negative political approach to childhood education. Rather than working on her reading and writing, little Wilma would spend her days digging up dirt on her classmates and spreading it across every empty wall at George Washington Elementary School. A devoted parent might help her take a classmate’s minor infraction and spin it into an evil character flaw that endangers the entire student body.
And just think what fiascos could be caused on dating websites. Rather than wasting time describing your own personality and character traits, you would focus on trashing the other singles searching for a partner. You could seal the deal by posting unflattering, black-and-white snapshots of your competition with big red Xs across their faces.
If I were to follow this strategy into business marketing, I’d have to forget about advertising the benefits of my own company’s products. Instead, I’d devote my entire budget to tearing down the competition. I’d hire actors to spin yarns with tearful and opinionated endings. I’d make people feel un-American if they even thought about making an informed choice for themselves.
All of this seems so wrong, so contrary to the spirit of responsible behavior. So this political season, the message I’d like to approve is one of fairness, humanity and X-less faces for all.