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I’m worried about Obama’s several hundred million advertising budget deficit. But, as a marketing guy, I started to think about what Romney’s ad have to do to get enough votes to win and it made me feel a bit better. Maybe it’ll make you feel better too!

The key point is that Obama is a very well defined brand and Romney is not going to able to redefine him with the money he has in the bank (and that is his stated strategy).  Obama is the presidential brand equivalent of Coca Cola (everyone has tried Coke, knows what it tastes like and its issues).  It would cost 20x what Romney has (per year, over many years) to create Obama’s brand. The amount of free media he’s had as President and electoral phenom is immense. So, it is going to be very hard for Romney to change people’s views about Obama. He might be able to reinforce existing views but he’s not going to – in a few months’ time – flip someone with his ads. Fox – and the GOP– have already “spent” many times over the past four years of what Romney has (think about what it would cost to pay for all the anti Obama programming on Fox and elsewhere since Obama has been President). So, Obama essentially already owns the negatives he will own into the election. Unless Obama makes a major gaffe (or there is some revelation) Romney is not going to be able to make much of a dent by running negative :30 spots on old material. As this is what they are spending the bulk of the $, so this is good news for Obama.

Romney will have to focus on ads that boost his positives to win. He is not that well known – in truth –to the electorate so this could be a viable strategy. But, he’s limited in what he can play up. His personal story – he’s a rich kid who got richer on Wall Street – is not compelling. He’s policy approach is problematic – trust the rich guys. He does look the part of the President and his family is an asset as well but I think voters are so cynical about politicians that they just tune out trope “inspiring” life stories and attractive spouses and kids.

I am also heartened by what I learned about his ad team. It is headed up by a political ad person , Ashley O’Connor who seems to be more of a production person than a top creative) and has for its creative stars the guys who created the campaign “Beef, it is what’s for dinner” and “BMW, the ultimate driving machine.” These are well done campaigns but very focused “guy” ads that appeal to older white guys. Romney already has older white guys. He needs to appeal to women and enough of the Hispanic vote to win.  These are not the kind of ads this team can create.

Finally, it is important to think about how advertising works. Advertising is about getting someone to look at/notice and ad, deliver enough emotional impact to them to form enough of an emotional bond with the product to make the desired decision (in this case, vote for Romney). People see so many ads that the more times you can show the ads (frequency) they more likely someone will actually “watch” or “experience” the ad. So, Romney’s money will buy lots of frequency and help with the look at the ad part. But, this is only half the equation. If the ads don’t deliver on the emotional component of the product (which in this case has to be positives for Romney) the frequency doesn’t matter. Bad products don’t sell even with tons of advertising and promotion (e.g. new coke, many us cars, Microsoft Zune).

And, frequency has a limit. The goal is to get someone to focus on an ad and respond to it. Running it beyond that point – if the ad doesn’t work and the product doesn’t sell – is just wasting money. And, it seems like Romney is going to go past this point. I think Romney is going to waste a lot of his money. The election is so close that – of course – that the ads might buy enough votes to work but I don’t see it. And, people can be brainwashed by advertising (look at all the crap people buy) but it is a lot harder than simply buying a lot of time and saying “buy this, don’t buy that” which appears to be Romney’s strategy.

I have seen lots of rich guys who really don’t understand how marketing/advertising works (and think “just promote my great product and it will sell!”). You’d assume Romney – after supposedly running Staples – would know what he is doing but I don’t see it. Just look at his crap, 1960’s homemade logo.

I’d be curious what other marketing people think but, in thinking about it, I am a little less worried about all that Romney ad money.  

Originally posted to lojo on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He's wasting other people's money... (21+ / 0-)

    ...selling a bucket of fresh, steaming turds, not a Coca Cola wannabe.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 10:52:24 AM PDT

  •  Political Advertising Is Not Done to Promote. (22+ / 0-)

    It's mainly attack advertising; it's intended to discourage support for the opponent. And it works.

    The worst defeat of either party in a midterm since the century before last followed immediately on the passage of Citizens United in 2010 and its explosion in corporate conservative campaign and issue ads against Democrats.

    Everything the Republicans have done since 2010 shows that they are doubling down on that strategy of attacking Dems and inflaming their own extreme base, in order to make it a turnout election. At this point they're definitely winning on enthusiasm energy, plus they have thrown millions of Democrats out of the electorate.

    There aren't nearly as many persuadable likely voters as there are registered unenthusiastic unlikely voters. Add to that the fact that the Democrats were AWOL from election motivation 2 years ago which allowed the Republicans to convince older voters that Republicans protect while Democrats threaten Medicare, and the marketing war for 2012 is most likely the Republican' to lose.

    They're behind right now but the marketing war won't start till Tuesday once Romney's nominated.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 11:02:18 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, but.. (25+ / 0-)

      GOP ad spending on mid terms (in NC for example) worked because the pols/brands targeted were not well known and could be defined by negatives.

      Obama is very well known and definted and attack ads are not going to work because they will contain no new negative information (or emotional reasons for staying away from polls).

      But, I agree that they have the $ and the marketing wars is their's to lose but I think that if they only go negative, they will lose (I hope!).

      •  Goose rock will not listen to reason or facts (16+ / 0-)

        With respect to 2010.

        You are 100% correct about the unknown quantity. I've told him this several times as well as provided him with experiential evidence about the Medicare scare: my own husband is on Medicare and 2010 was the first year we didn't hit the donut hole plus we got a refund for $250. For seniors in hole, their meds cost half the price they did in 2009.

         He's stuck on ignorant on 2010 and is just making a lot of it up. (Dems aren't enthusiastic? Says who?)

        For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

        by mdmslle on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 11:21:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yup that one is hopeless concern troll gloomer (7+ / 0-)

          another thing that makes the analogy to the primaries facile...Obam still has a LOT of money.  Much less than Romney but still a lot.  Neither santorum nor gingrich had a substantial war chest.  At some point I still think there is a saturation/tipping point with respect to the money spent on advertising

        •  As compared to '08, Dems aren't enthusiastic. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And they'll need to be more enthusiastic than '08 to win.

          We haven't seen any crowds of 80,000 or 100,000, have we?

          Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

          by Words In Action on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:54:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think there is any way they can risk (6+ / 0-)

            having the crowds they had in 2008.  I went to one of the big rallies in 2008 and there is no way that would be possible after four years of hate talk against the President.  Venues are more controlled and security is tighter this year.

            “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

            by ahumbleopinion on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 08:47:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  As noted above, 10 million+ (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            was Obama's margin in 2008.  365 to 173 was the electoral split.

            The threshold for victory doesn't increase for a second term.  The rules remains that you just need a majority of electoral votes.  

            Obama won't repeat the 2008 performance (in all likelihood).  Even if he doesn't, even if he has millions fewer votes and almost 100 fewer electoral votes in 2012, he still wins.  

          •  Crowds don't vote (2+ / 0-)

            The Obama campaign has been quietly working for the last three and a half years working on how to deliver voters to the polls.

          •  GOTV only matters in the small pool of swing (0+ / 0-)

            states, and the Obama campaign is very organized for the ground game there, moreso than Romney.

            Remember, we're trying to win the electoral college and the numbers there are heavily stacked in our favor. Obama needs to win only 2-3 swing states while Romney has to win a pile to win.

        •  Yeah...I completely agree on the ads analysis... (9+ / 0-)

          ...but all the polling data I've seen confirms the enthusiasm gap continues this election. In addition, look at how many registered voters are unlikely to vote, then look at the proportion that supports Obama. Those are big, scary numbers that need work. I think Ryan and his plan will get a lot of play from team O after the conventions. Look for that to close the enthusiasm gap...I'd put money on that.

          Blogs: Twitter: @realsteveholt

          by steveholt on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:11:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. There is a limit to negative ads (11+ / 0-)

          And there is a limit to what money can do for an unlikeable candidate.  Just ask CA Gov Meg Whitman.

          Obama is well-defined.  The base may be excited with Romney's slurs but they aren't convincing the few undecideds.  Plus Obama will mop the floor with Romney in the debates. Romney and his people have an inflated view of what advertising can  do.  Gooserock may be right as far as down ballot races go but presidential contests particularly with an incumbent are different.

          The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

          by Mimikatz on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 09:56:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I hope you are right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sue B, stellaluna

          But the concern comes from a simple fact: a very large percentage of those supporting Romney shouldnt be voting for him.  There is a great deal of confusion out there about who is supporting what, and what positions these candidates have.  If you make way over $250K/year and are a true fundamentalist, then fine.  But demographic polls show that this does not represent a large cross section of America.  So why isnt it Obama by a landslide?  You might say "the economy" but if you have been watching even a little bit, then you already know that the economy is part and parcel of the GOP's torched earth policy to win back power.  You might claim Obama could have done more... but what?  There just arent any magical fixes to a mess started and owned by the neocons.  After decades of this mess, why would any middle class American vote for Romney?  Oh yeah ... there is THAT.  And all this ad money goes into reminding us that he is the black guy in the race.  That is the real strategy and it seems to work.  So I dont believe that saturation messaging is the point. It is simply to put — "he is the black guy" after any major policy or economic victory we might bring up.  "Yes, we know you like him... But he is the black guy..."  OK, so they dont say "black guy" they say welfare lovin' muslim, kenyan that wants to take your business from you and kill babies (preferably to eat them).  But without the picture of the "black guy" in each ad... well.   Did anyone really think the republicans had left the Nixon southern strategy behind?  The Obama administration has taught us many things about the GOP, but it has also taught us a little something about ourselves as a nation.  We still keep slaves in this country - as much as we might think we are past that.  They wear the chains of financial, governmental, and social disadvantage  And there are many that still get mad when they dont know their place.  For those people, well Rmoney is here for you.

      •  All they need to do is get their vote out and (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, inHI, Dirtandiron, Sue B

        eliminate enough voters in swing states.

        They don't need to swing many voters at all.

        The ad dollars will be very significant in the next two months.

        The voter purges and IDs even moreso.

        There's too much complacency around here.

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

        by Words In Action on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:00:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Remember in 2008 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dirtandiron, melo, Sue B

      When McCain rolled out "Sarah Palin" and the Democrats freaked - all of a sudden, there was energy on the Republican side (sexual energy but nonetheless).

      I remember being here on DailyKos and people even back then were worried that Palin had just whipped up the base.

      What the Democrats need now is a high-energy moment of some kind and I believe that the DNC Convention will help to provide that energy.

      In the meantime, I'm giving money to any organization working to get people valid photo ID's to combat the Voter ID laws.  I am also worried that the Republicans will make sure that the Democratic strongholds don't have enough actual voting machines and/or booths to vote, causing long lines and many to just walk away.

      They play dirty tricks.  I wish the Dems could be as cruel as the Rep's can be - but it is not in our DNA.....  Republicans are Authoritarians.... they like to tell people what to do or they like to be told what to do (for the structure it brings in their lives).

      -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

      by MarciaJ720 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:49:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Instead of a drug war (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We could fund a war against voter fraud. A better use of my tax dollars.

        "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

        by US Blues on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:57:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And if we were more like Republicans (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dirtandiron, MarciaJ720

        we would BE Republicans.  I'm still not ready to fight that dirty.

        They play dirty tricks.  I wish the Dems could be as cruel as the Rep's can be - but it is not in our DNA.....  Republicans are Authoritarians.... they like to tell people what to do or they like to be told what to do (for the structure it brings in their lives).

        Dear middle finger; Sometimes people really get on my last nerve, but thank you for sticking up for me.

        by Bendra on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:27:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think Romney runs a real risk of raising his (41+ / 0-)

    Negatives from the saturation. As someone with over a decade in ad production and marketing strategy, I agree with you. Mitt has a brand problem. No amount of advertising is going to fix that without him addressing the problem with his brand.

    IMO the problem with his brand is he's not trustworthy. That's a huge huge problem. Not insurmountable. But given his refusal to do the things necessary to earn trust (release the tax returns, sit down for an earnest interview, explain Bain in a way that doesn't make you sound like an asshole, take a stand on the issues instead of switching back and forth) means he's not going to do much to change that problem.

    If I was managing his brand, I would insist on him doing at least ONE of those things. People buy-in to a brand when they believe it will do what it says it's going to do. That's true of paper towels. It's true of politicians. Nobody is so confident about Romney. That's a bad place for him to be.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 11:16:09 AM PDT

    •  And after the GOP winner of 2010 (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, fumie, MarciaJ720, Mayfly, kurt, Sue B

      Who said all the right things, but did NONE of them, who did things that NOBODY wanted or expected, I think there's a segment of the electorate that just doesn't trust them at all.

      Not ANY of them. Not Romney, and not any other GOP shill who's on the ticket.

      They might not trust the dems either. In that case, they might sit this one out.

    •  How many times has the media (9+ / 0-)

      reported; "The campaign is going to 'redefine' the candidate" or some such.  Plus, based on the gaffe's and outright backtracking, being constantly on the defense, I have seen come from the campaign, I am not too impressed with his strategy.

      I would also not underestimate the power of the women's vote.  Remember Mississippi and the personhood bill?  People were biting their nails thinking no way would Mississippi not vote for that and it was voted down with a healthy margin.  In Colorado they have defeated that odious piece of crap twice with 70% saying no way.  The polling was 'close' according to the media.  Then people got busy and started advertising and boom, down to defeat.  I got my niece to re-register based on the war on woman and she was an 'unlikely to vote' up until the day before yesterday.  Her reasons for not voting were based on the feeling of "I don't trust anyone so punt" but when I pointed out the attacks on women's rights, she was all in.

      Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

      by whoknu on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:38:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good on you whoknu (0+ / 0-)

        that's like voting twice, and legal too...

      •  anyone see Romney's website? Disaster. (0+ / 0-)

        The tax stuff is on the front page, and so is a response to Obama attacks. Keeping your opponents message in the forefront is laughably bad. And this convention, cancelled all of Monday, didn't realize the networks wouldn't carry his wife's speech, it's a fiasco again. He really is running a fiasco of a compaign, worse than McCain. Ryan certainly got their base excited, but like Palin he will be an anvil once Obama unleashes the details of his voucher for Medicare plan.

  •  Intriguing. I hope other marketing people chime (8+ / 0-)


    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 11:19:09 AM PDT

  •  they also seem to think (17+ / 0-)

    The Romney team also seems to think that they can sway people by making huge online ad buys.  I see Romney ads on the oddest websites these days (like here(!)).  But that's throwing money away in many cases, there's no microtargeting.  And sooner or later it's going to create a mental association between Romney and virus laden pop-up ads.

  •  key point: (10+ / 0-)
    Advertising is about getting someone to look at/notice and ad, deliver enough emotional impact to them to form enough of an emotional bond with the product to make the desired decision (in this case, vote for Romney).
    So, that emotional resonance: coca-cola and Santa Claus; your son is back from Iraq and you have folgers in your cup.

    "What they said about me being a corporate raider is technically untrue. Desperate failed policies" doesn't really inspire those morning-in-america feelings.

  •  I saw some rich guy being interviewed about (21+ / 0-)

    the huge difference between the big bucks donors for RMoney and the much more numerous but smaller amounts donors are giving to Obama.  The rich guy who happens to totally support our Prez, said, he was monitoring the situation and would donate closer and more effectively as we neared the actual election.  He didn't feel there was a necessity to expend ginormous amounts of money too soon in this election, when he was positive Obama would win spending less than half the money.  He was pretty confident the good guy would win and the right-wingers would shoot themselves in the foot several times before November.  So far, so good.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 11:45:12 AM PDT

    •  There was at least one diary to that effect (8+ / 0-)

      on this site, and it was pretty convincing. Rmoney tapped out his donors a long time ago, and they can now give only to pacs. There is no groundswell of support that would allow him to target campaign money when he needs to.

      •  His negatives are also high, and not budging. (8+ / 0-)

        In fact, with me, his negatives go over the top again every time I get a little more exposure to him.

        Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

        by murasaki on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:51:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But the PAC money can do plenty of damage (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mayfly, Chi

        and it is endless and it will do damage.

        I hear too much complacency.

        This is going to be hard than '08, no matter what anyone says there is less energy around than there was in '08 AND voters are being disappeared at an alarming rate with absolutely no reaction to speak of, certainly nothing that is going to stop it from going right up until election day.

        If Dems won't stop the purges, what makes you so confident they'll get the vote out?

        Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

        by Words In Action on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:04:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lot of us are excited (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chrislefty, Mayfly

          and will hit the ground closer to the election. in 2008, I was a neighborhood captain. since then I've moved and probably won't be a captain this year, but I'm donating money, monitoring the polls, sending out emails and information to others.

          Maybe it doesn't look like I'm doing as much this time, but in my opinion I'm doing more. I'm giving more money and energy. I don't need the rallies, I'm already committed. When the time comes to hit the streets, I'll be there. My contributions are simply different this time, not less.

          He's not perfect, nobody is, but he is my President. Obama 2012.

          by emcneill on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 05:07:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Early money is more valuable . . . (0+ / 0-)

      so it is not really clear how a late donation is "more effective".

      e.g. impressions about candidates tend to harden as the race goes along, the time to define your opponent is early as possible in the election cycle.

      Hopefully the donor enters the fray soon.

      •  that depends (0+ / 0-)

        What is the money going to be used for?

        If the later money goes to hiring people on the ground, setting up voter registration drives, phone reminders to vote, people to get people to the pills, door to door canvassing, that money could be really helpful.

        It won't do much good for tv ads, because those will already be bought. But if they bought the time early, later money could help with ad production to fill those spots they bought earlier.

  •  see Meg Whitman v Jerry Brown 2010 (16+ / 0-)

    I hope you're right, I like to keep in mind the California governor's race which might be a good example of this.

  •  Great comments, thanks (14+ / 0-)

    And curious what the other marketing folks think about Obama's team (I think they've done an amazing job with a lot less). So smart to go after Romney early (when they could have an advantage in air time). I also think they are microtargeting successfully. They seem like they are playing at a higher level than Romney (and they have to!)

    •  This is true. I also read about him granting (8+ / 0-)

      Interviews to local reporters in swing states. Very wise move to get earned media, much of it positive.

      The team will be studied by us ad/marketing people for decades, not to mention political studies. I stand in awe of their accomplishments and try to learn as much as I can from the outside.

      Theyre just doing a lot of really smart stuff. I also happen to think the administration will be announcing something huge at the end of September. Hunch. But I think it relates to HARP (HARP 3.0) and has been in the works for over a year now.

      Campaign is smart.

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:00:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I also think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        science nerd, Creosote

        They have something big too.

        Think about all the creative talent that supports Obama. Tom hanks. Ron Howard. Morgan freeman. George clooney.

        Now think about obama's life, his upbringing, where he grew up, what he's accomplished. Think of the documentary they could make, and how impressive that would be.

        And there's nothing to stop them from running it, in prime time, on broadcast and cable, a week before the election.

        Original music. Major names doing the voiceovers. Top directors, cinematographers, writers.

        I  can't imagine they're not doing it. It just makes so much sense.

        •  well i'm sure that would bring obama any new (0+ / 0-)

          voters and a documentary could be easily underwritten by the right for mitt. they're relatively cheap to make.

          My suspicious about HARP 3.0 was based on two conversations I had with bankers - one from my credit union and one from bank of america.

          here's what they told me that makes me wonder if it's more than just talk:

          For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

          by mdmslle on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:03:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But theyre not easy to make well (0+ / 0-)

            And that's why you need awesome talent to pull it off.

            Obama has awesome, Oscar quality talent on his side. Without that, you don't get something people want to watch. You get a long, boring commercial.

            •  Documentaries are not mass appeal productions. (0+ / 0-)

              Sorry. I don't care how well they're made. That's why you don't see them at regal or amc theaters.

              A documentary will never reach a wide audience outside its own immediate interest circle. This is just a fact of documentaries. People who are already "in" for the subject tend to watch them. Others do not.

              Example: The Tuskegee Airmen. tons of well done docs on them have been made.

              Another example: The Holocaust. Plenty of well made, riveting docs have been created.

              But Red Tails and Schindler's List were seen by tens of millions of people who never would watch a doc. Docs are nice and can be well made, sure. But their appeal is limited

              For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

              by mdmslle on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 11:59:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, HARP. Had to look it up. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Mortgage refinancing. Hmmm

        •  yeah. When I called my credit union recently (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mayfly, mmacdDE, Sue B, Creosote

          to ask about refinancing (they don't hold my mortgage), the lady on the phone mentioned HARP 3.0 and that it would go into effect by the end of September. The 3.0 version is the version that allows anyone underwater to refinance, whether you're Freddie or Fannie or not. It would be huge.

          Then I called Bank of America, who hold my mortgage, and he basically said the same thing. He was a bit more circumspect about how he said it and he urged me to "contact my congressmen" (odd to hear b of a say that, eh?) BUt it is what it is. Before we got off the phone, the guy made sure I have his direct extension so I could contact him when we're ready. It was a seven digit extension. I mentioned that it's an awfully long extension (because I wasn't sure whether it was an extension or a phone number). He said, yes, we've got a lot of mortgage agents. My first thought was, "people are buying that many houses these days that you need seven figure extension numbers"? But then I thought, if this HARP 3.0 kicks in, they will need every one of those extensions.

          Not sure if this is what is going on or if it is, what the hook was for the banks. But as I said, I wouldn't be completely surprised by it if this administration pulled it off. I mean there's nothing preventing the administration from working a deal with the banking industry. It only needs congress if there's federal funds involved.

          For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

          by mdmslle on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:00:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting. (0+ / 0-)

            Particularly the BofA version. Yet what happened with the earlier versions of HARP that didn't seem to work? Did Treasury find some new leverage to apply to those banks that were refusing to negotiate?

            Elsewhere on DK recently I read that private companies appear to be set to buy large groups of foreclosed private homes with the intention of renting them. A new kind of absent landlord property management scheme where the renters would be obligated not only for rent but to provide repairs.

            It's a little dizzying.

    •  I expect we will see various groups come out in (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      science nerd, Creosote, Mayfly

      support of the President as we get closer to the election.  They have a message that will appeal to most demographics and they are working on targeting to them.  The biggest issue to me is that Romney's campaign is completely based on lies and that people who want to believe Republicans won't look past the lies.

      “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

      by ahumbleopinion on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 08:54:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what he did in 2008 (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, Vetwife, Mayfly, mmacdDE

        Remember how those endorsements from party regulars for Obama appeared at the right moments thru the primary campaign? From an article I read after it was all over, Obama had lined up all of those endorsements fairly early, but instead of announcing them all at once, his organization released them a few at a time either to spoil Clinton's momentum or to help his own.

        And Hilary Clinton ran a far better campaign that Romney has so far.

  •  My nonprofessional sense (7+ / 0-) that political advertising for challengers doesn't work on wants.  It works to increase doubts.  It doesn't work to produce results.  It works to produce randomness.  It works to get folks who have already decided to go into the voting booth and hesitate and then irrationally and randomly pick one of the candidate, who might or might not be the one they intended to vote for.  This reduces votes for the incumbent to the point that bases and turnout can be competitive--even when you are putting your finger on the ballot box through election resource misdistribution, voter impediments, and outright election fraud in counting.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:18:41 PM PDT

  •  The key is a straight ad (11+ / 0-)

    Why are you seeing all these anti-Obama ads? Because Kochs/Adelson have donated 100 million dollars to protect their tax shelters...

    People aren't stupid. But we can't pussyfoot around. You can make the last minute ad barrage into a negative if people understand where it is coming from.

    And we can't be shy about it.

    •  I saw on the news yesterday (evening news) Obama (17+ / 0-)

      Did just that! He said: "yea, they'll write a check for 10 million dollars to run ads against me. But how many teachers  could we have paid...." (or something very much like that)

      I think they're doing to play it exactly like that: they'll spend 100 million dollars to promote the candidate who will keep them from paying a little extra in taxes into the country they claim to care about! A small group of billionaire who would be looking for a return of the favor if my opponent is elected. Nobody shells out that kind of money for nothing in return! Would you? And guess who gets screwed when Romney is busy paying back his billionaire donors? Not them! You!

      This will reach crescendo by third/fourth week in September in anticipation of the barrage. Preemptive. He's already making the noises now.

      For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

      by mdmslle on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:07:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can SuperPACs do ads favorable to their candidate? (0+ / 0-)

      Are  they somehow restricted to just hammering the other candidate?  I am just asking because that's always how it seems to go.  Maybe doing a pro-candidate puff piece is just too much coordination or something.  Otherwise, I can't see why they wouldn't do more of it.

      The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

      by Mimikatz on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 02:26:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They could, but I think there's also the fact (0+ / 0-)

        that PACs have the advantage of being a step away from the campaign and thus they don't have to end with, "I'm Willard and I approved this message."

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 08:16:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I appreciate this diary, some thoughts about $$ (17+ / 0-)

    I really enjoyed your perspective.  I think President Obama and the Obama team have created excellent ads that define the issues.  President Obama is very likable and his positions make good sense.  

    You talked about money. 69,456,897 voted for Obama in 2008.  I know there are some that voted then that won't now, but in Indiana they registered over 28,000 new Democratic voters in 2008 and they are about on target for the same amount now.

    I just keep thinking that if every one of them gave $3 that would be millions of dollars and easy to repeat.

    My point is that if we know people who are Obama supporters and haven't donated, tell them the importance of voting now and ask them to contribute even a small amount.

    If they are registered, ask them to check to make sure they are still registered.

    In Indiana I can print out the registration form online and get friends and relatives to register.  I know someone who asks people at work and in her apartment building.  

    OFA has a great online workshop on registering voters in your state.  Go to this link:

    OFA Volunteer

    Upper left "State" drop down, pick your state
    You will get a state blog and on the right can put in your zip code for events
    the online voter registration workshop is one of the events

    If you have redstate relatives or co-workers, don't let them bug you, just register a new Democrat and make sure they get to the polls if you can.

    We can make a HUGE difference.

    I would like to hear more of your perspective about advertising and the campaign.  It's fresh and interesting.  Thank you!

    Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.~ Howard Zinn

    by ParkRanger on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:38:17 PM PDT

    •  Lots and lots of disappeared voters to replace (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Mayfly, Dirtandiron, ParkRanger

      seeing as we're not going to stop the leakage...

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 07:07:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read somewhere that OFA had registered (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        redandblue, Sue B

        1 million new voters in Pennsylvania.  I tried to find it to put in my comment, but couldn't.  I skim so many articles when I come online that I don't remember them all.

        The thing is, that in Indiana, I can register people I know. I have a niece who is 50 and has never voted in her life.  I talked her into it and she wants to vote for Democrats.  I will make sure she registers.  

        What if every Democratic voter who cares registered just one more person and talked people into giving $3 or $5, more if they could.  

        It would make a huge difference.  We can do it!

        Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.~ Howard Zinn

        by ParkRanger on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 12:30:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  White male voters (10+ / 0-)

    It seems Romney IS depending on the white male voters to turn out in 2010 numbers. His statement about the birth certificate seems to me a dog whistle. Every face I saw in the audience was white. "Hey look at me, I am white. You don't have to question where I was born. wink wink"

    That said, I am not a marketing person. I am a data geek who works for a company that tracks viewer behavior. If you are trying to introduce a brand, you run multiple ads over and over on channels that people watch without channel surfing. (It is what we call engagement. Do you watch the whole show for the whole hour even during commercials without changing channels?) Channels like FOX News Network, WWE, Hallmark and Lifetime.

    If you are selling cars, you put that slick ad on prime time shows hoping to catch that one person who is in the market for a car.

    Romney is in the former category.  He would be smart to blanket Hallmark and Lifetime with ads. It will be interesting to me to see where he spends his money.

    [Side note: The Hispanic station have the highest engagement of all, but I don't see much value for Romney advertising there.]

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:55:21 PM PDT

  •  View from a Management Consultant (13+ / 0-)

    I spent a number of years as a Management Consultant and we spent no time at all on marketing and advertising when working with clients, they hired advertising firms for that expertise. Harvard's MBA program spent very little class time during Mitt (and my) era on the subjects. I highly doubt that Mitt has much experience in selling to mass consumer markets and it shows to my mind.

    I'm beginning to think that Mitt's real expertise is in creation of highly complex financial instruments that minimize tax liabilities and marketing these to extremely wealthy individuals. Romney seems to be pretty good at selling himself to wealthy donors, so that would indicate skill and expertise in this area.

    As a resident of a swing state, Colorado, I am appalled at the sheer number of ads that run during the local news, its one of the few things I tend to watch "live" and I may have to give it up for a while. The thing that strikes me about all of the ads is that they tend to be about the "other guy". I think that Romney should be doing lots of ads about Romney to offset the negative advertising which is all we know about him. I agree that all of the negatives about Obama don't work very well as he is a known entity. My family & I tend to laugh, jeer & hit the mute button when Romney ads appear.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective on the advertising front.

    •  Mitt Romney isn't really a businessman (10+ / 0-)

      I've spent most of my career in Finance, first in Corporate Finance and later in Commercial Real Estate, in a consulting role.  During the 1980's I analyzed firms for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), Leveraged Buyouts (LBO's), Initial Public Offerings (IPO's).

      I never considered myself to be a businessperson.  I was a financial analyst, a numbers person, a consultant.  I performed due diligence for my clients and made recommendations.  I didn't build companies, and most of the time my clients didn't either.

      Mitt Romney has been a finance guy, often the hatchet guy.  The companies that did receive start-up capital and cash injections had other people who ran the companies.  Mitt was probably on the board, but he certainly wasn't involved in day-to-day management of Staples and others.  As an aside, a long-time friend of mine provided early stage and long-term financing for Staples while he was at Goldman, and he wouldn't have called himself the boss.

    •  In VA, we are also swamped by negative ads . . . (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoradAnne, Mayfly, Dirtandiron, Sue B

      from Romney.  There's the old dictum that you go negative early and then finish with a positive message.  But for a guy like Romney who is still an unknown quantity, I think he has weakened his argument by attacking the president rather than running more positive message about himself and his candidacy.   Time will tell.

  •  President Obama is Coca Cola... (8+ / 0-)

    Romney isn't Pepsie . . . he's warm yellow tinged water.

    Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

    by 88kathy on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 08:32:03 PM PDT

  •  More worried about down-ballot races. (8+ / 0-)

    I think Lojo's reasoning on the Presidential race is right on the mark. I think Obama will survive the ad assault for the reasons he/she cites, and that Romney won't be able to overcome his high negatives.
      I'm less bullish down ballot. The further you descend on the ballot, the less information people have. Less for US Senate than for President, less for House than for Senate, and much less for state legislators and statewide officers other than Governor. So my fear is that we'll have two more years of the status quo: President Obama, a razor-thin Democratic majority in the Senate, and a Republican House not at all chastened, and just as adamantly obstructionist as at present. Without some serious Presidential coattails, bold measures for economic recovery won't be possible, and that bodes ill for 2014 and 2016.
      So I defer to the advertising specialists, am I being too pessimistic about the other races? Please tell me that I am!

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 09:05:39 PM PDT

    •  Omitted a key link (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, NotGeorgeWill, Mayfly

      Sorry. What I'm really asking is whether the massive ad campaigns will be more effective in down ballot races.

      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

      by Blue Boomer on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 09:07:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on whether people vote straight ticket (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, fumie, NotGeorgeWill, Mayfly

        or split their votes.  I think it works better in off years when there is no big head of the ticket.  It probably dissuades people in down ballot races.  Of course we have never seen the sheer volume of ads there is going to be this time.  Now is when we find the limits of money, if there are any.

        This is based on experience not expertise, though.

        The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

        by Mimikatz on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 10:30:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, yes, that could happen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But Romney's picking of Ryan as his VP nominee helps us in taking back the House because Obama gets to highlight the truly crazy House Republican agenda in his campaign.

      It will be tough, no doubt about it. But think of this. Remember how we all thought the Supreme Court was going to kill the ACA? And then we won instead?

      Just imagine how it would feel on election night if we take back the House and hang on to the Senate and the White House. Yeee haaaa!

      Let's work out butts off to make it so.

  •  At what point do people switch to TBS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NotGeorgeWill, elmo, Mayfly

    I live in L.A. and have seen just a handful of ads, and those probably aired here because the campaign didn't carve out this market.

    For those people who live in swing states, my condolences. At what point do people just tune out the ads, switch to TBS, AMC or another channel just to get away from all the junk.  A DVR comes in handy, and dumping all the ads is easy.

    •  I keep thinking that if Romney's people were smart (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NotGeorgeWill, elmo, mmacdDE

      They'd take that ad time they bought for the campaign & instead of using it to air an attack ad, they'd air a public-service style of ad. Promote something anodyne or inoffensive such as literacy or public health. Or even something along the lines of "Are you pregnant, but worried about being able to raise the baby? Consider adoption." Then end the ad with a credit to the Romney campaign.

      Can anyone deny that making an obvious attempt to reduce the number of political ads would win votes?

      But the people he has working for him aren't smart. They can't think outside the box like that. They're going to throw all that money into carpet-bombing swing states with attack ads. They'd do a lot better taking even a tenth of that money & using it to motivate their base into showing up on voting day -- but I doubt they could think of ways to do that which would not run afoul of the many existing laws against buying votes.

  •  Any thought about R-MONEY interfering with the ad (8+ / 0-)


    I get the sense that he has a veto on anything they do.  

    For example, he picked the music that his wife's horse danced to in the Olympics.  I have no idea what his musical expertise might be, or why he got involved in such a decision, but it speaks to his mindset of "making decisions" and "being the smartest guy in the room."

    Do you have any idea if this could be a more general practice of Mittens?

    If so, it might explain why his campaign so far has been hopping from one tack to another.  If that continues, all the money in the world won't get him any traction.  There has been no consistent message so far.

    The fact that R-MONEY is a gaffe machine has not helped.  Every time he opens his mouth, there is a chance he will go off topic, and say something that becomes that news cycle's topic of discussion..

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry

    by BornDuringWWII on Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 10:35:14 PM PDT

    •  I wonder the same thing (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike08, Mayfly, ColoradAnne, Sue B, dragonlady

      For me it is Romney's logo -- it is so bad, home made that I wonder why it is being used in a general presidential.  Any designer/brand person worth their salt would be itching to get rid of that thing. It makes me think he is making them use it (it shows up in his earlier campaign photos - that "Rmoney" photo from an earlier campaign).

      It reminds me of a client who owned a major airline and - when we were suggesting new branding - made us use his wife's designs for the flight attendants .

      •  I'm pretty sure a real designer didn't make that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It would have never made it past a vis comm I critique in art school, let alone out the door of a creative dept. I mean, it looks a squirt of tooth paste. Nobody pointed that out to them, really?

    •  Oh, I'm almost positive he vetoes stuff (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B, dragonlady

      He has atrocious taste, and his ads and speeches reflect that. He doesn't listen to anybody. He has no real sense of humor. He is far, far removed from the average person, and he doesn't even realize it.

      He's the one running this campaign, and I'm sure he uses those exact words regularly.

  •  The numbers just don't work. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, mmacdDE, Mimikatz

    There are only a few swing states, only a few swing voters to convince and only a few months until the Election. This creates an equation that makes it very difficult for Romney to spend his vast sums of money in an effective manner.

    Sure you can blanket the air waves with ads but they lose their impact after a few views and become annoying quickly after that. There is a point of diminishing return, and I think Romney is about to reach it in some of these swing states. Once that happens even if you agree with the statement the ad is making, and even if there are a handful of ads being played infinitely, it will not matter.

    Quick example: The MSNBC Live Stream I watch everyday after work shows ONLY MSNBC commercials during the breaks. You know which ones I mean. Those not-quite-public-service announcement ads featuring MSNBC personalities talking about the issues.

    There are maybe 12 individual ads that run on a constant loop on this live stream and while I agree with the basic message expressed in every single one of them, I find myself so annoyed by the constant repeat of these same ads that I have found myself mocking every single one of them.

    So I think binge spending on television ads can actually bite Romney on the ass if he goes overboard.

    We lose if we choose to forget; the lives of men, and money spent.

    by DeanDemocrat on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 04:17:43 AM PDT

    •  Plus (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SuetheRedWA, Mayfly, Chi, mmacdDE, Sue B

      the Romney people are flying blind. They don't really know who those undecided voters are and what they care about.

      I read an article on Slate (or Salon, can't remember which) a while back about the Romney IT operations. They were watching where Obama went to campaign and guessing about why he was campaigning there, in order to figure out where they should put resources.

      That's their sophisticated data operation. Pffft.

  •  You failed to consider something (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Let's say Obama is a BMW and Romney is a Mercedes.  Both are competing for sales in a single market.

    Here's the problem.. Let's say both run ad campaigns that are a mix of positives about their car and negatives about the other.

    At the end of the ad campaign, sales are terrible.. for both!

    In business, and especially product advertising, both ad campaigns would be considered failures.

    In politics, it does not matter.  You only have to beat the other guy by a few votes in a few battleground states - no matter how depressed the vote is!

    Crappy sales in marketing?  Your ad firm is fired.  Crappy turnout in an election?  One still wins the Presidency!

    So.. back to reality..  I have argued on some of the election watch diaries since May that the negative ads by the Obama team have been largely unsuccessful in squelching GOP voters.. Yes, they have defined Romney in a negative sense to some, but it is my opinion that these attack ads have only fired up the base even more to rally behind the guy they previously didn't really care for.

    So... Romney will have his campaign put out positive ads on Romney and he will allow the super PACs to go on attack on Obama's presidency.  Romney's negative ads against Obama will be much softer.

    All Romney has to do is boost his positives a wee bit, while depressing Obama's votes a wee bit.

    Gooserock is correct.   Everyone is looking at 2008 as the model for this election.  Look at 2010 if you want a better picture.. a fired up conservative base.. ironically that GOP base was in disarray and not behind Romney until Obama's team unified them.

    •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sue B

      First there are more registered democrats than republicans. If we can motivate every one of us to show up we will win. By defining early he prevented any from our side who are not happy from crossing over to the other side. He then made sure that moderates and independents paused to know Romney.  The base will always return to the candidate in a presidential election unlike a mid-tern.

      •  But Republicans are registering more new voters (0+ / 0-)

        in the "swing" states.
        It doesn't matter how much Obama wins a blue state by.. 1 vote or 5 million votes.. he still only gets those blue state electoral votes.

        From the Boston Globe

        In Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado, and Nevada — tossup states where direct election-year comparisons could be drawn — the numbers are striking. Democratic rolls increased by only 39,580, less than one-tenth the amount at the comparable point in the 2008 election.

        At the same time, GOP registration has jumped by 145,085, or more than double for the same time four years ago. Independent registration has shown an even stronger surge, to 229,500, almost three times the number at this point in 2008.

        Marketing to your base does solidify that base.. but it doesn't mean they will be there to vote.

        And these registration numbers do not look like Obama's campaign is bringing in many new voters.

  •  I have been appalled at the execution (6+ / 0-)

    not of the ads (I'm an expat) but how poorly Romney has campaigned.

    He managed to keep the pick of Ryan as an exception, but he has not had a coherent, viable approach to ANYTHING - his taxes, explaining Bain, Seamus, women's rights, anything.  He only won the nomination because of (a) clowns for opposition (b) lots of money for negative ads.

    How can anyone be so ill-prepared?  How can anyone believe he has any skills at all?

    by chloris creator on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 05:56:23 AM PDT

  •  Agree - Romney has closed the enthusiasm gap. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hardcore right wingers are as disillusioned now as Democrats.
      It's a base election. Will Democratic GOTV be enough to overcome Republican voter suppression?

  •  Romney is running (poorly) a 20th century campaign (6+ / 0-)

    The whole flap over Queen Ann not being on network television points to that. Well, we don't live in the 20th century where network appearances is the most important element. We don't live in a world where people are forced to sit through endless commercials. We don't live in a world where people can't tune out, fast-forward, block, and ignore advertising. A zillion dollar ad buy is really only impressive when the literal majority of Americans can all be watching the same television channel on the same night for the same entertainment. The country is fractured is more ways than one, and his ads are only ultimately going to reach a small percentage of people--people who are in the right place, at the right time, and don't have the means/desire to FF, pause, turn the channel...people who aren't staring at their smartphones, staring at their computers, fighting with their kids.

    Everytime OFA releases a great web ad, there's cries of "GET THIS ON TV!" Why? I ONLY see political ads online because I only watch Hulu and Netflix these days...and I know I'm not the only one who gave Comcast the bird and found a new way to get my entertainment. I don't know anybody who doesn't have a Tivo/DVR in their house, I don't know anybody who says "Oh, I have to be home to watch my shows at 7" because they'll just record it, or watch it online, or watch it on demand.

    Mitt can have all the money in the world (a goal he's no doubt striving for) but if you don't know how/where to spend it (it's also useless to buy internet banner ads...I haven't seen one of those in nearly a decade. Why? Because Firefox and Chrome and Opera all make it dead easy to block all of the ads forever) then it's absolutely useless. He might as well put it in a big vault and swim in it Scrooge McDuck style.

    "There's an iPad 3 and a Mitt Romney 4 now. They've worked the bugs out. He's not killing hobos at night anymore."

    by muzzleofbees on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 07:34:12 AM PDT

    •  the one occasion when everyone watched (0+ / 0-)

      the tv?

      The superbowl -  and there was that super ad, in effect saying thank you Mr President for the auto bailout.... and Obama never had to pay a cent for it!!

      a good ad anywhere, gold dust in Michigan and Ohio

      I am sure Clint Eastwood knew that at the time.

  •  Rifle vs shotgun (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly, mmacdDE, Mimikatz, Sue B

    The team Obama campaign has a strategic advantage in at least two important ways:

    1. The advertising delivers a well balanced rational and emotional message.

    2. Our media dollars, while smaller, are being spent more effectively, or "smarter".  Not just about "reach" but effective reach.  A simple analogy: a single bullet (dollar) aimed at an important target (e.g., swing voters) is more effective and dollar-efficient than buckshot (Koch-bucks) aimed at everyone.

    Finally, no traditional media today works more effectively than social media - think of it like a good virus.  And it's mostly on our side.

    Oh yeah, and Obama's campaign is magnitudes more consistent and well substantiated by the facts.


    GOP.  Eyes wide shut.


  •  From an advertising POV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how do the Not-Obama's play out? From my reading, there are more Not-Obamas than pro-romney's. My experience in electoral politics, anti-voters tend to not turn out. With 70 days left and more gaffes likely could Not-Obama's become  complacent? If polls showed romney leading would it dampen his turnout.
    Advertising reinforces a message. The ground game/get-out-the vote is all that matters.

  •  Staples sells useful stuff people need. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Romney's a guy who wants lower his taxes.  What do I need to lower his taxes for?

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:31:56 AM PDT

  •  to me, where money could have an impact (0+ / 0-)

    is in select swing states. Having massive amounts of money to spend throughout the U.S., like you said, probably wouldn't make all that much of a difference.

    However, with the right message(s) in the right swing states, a half a billion dollars targeted to just 5-7 states could help change the dynamics, especially if this barrage of advertising dollars is being done in conjunction with coordinated efforts to disenfranchise large numbers of potential Obama voters, as we all know Republicans are trying to do wherever possible.

    The latest thing, according to a report by Rachel Maddow the other night, is for a Republican-affilicated group to try to have lots of goons in every single precinct in the country trying to intimidate people, as well.

  •  During the conventions its 2 on 1. (0+ / 0-)

    Bill Clinton & President Obama vs. Mitt Romney.  After all the noise, that's who people will pay attention to.

    I like the odds and democrats chances in that match up.

    •  And the DEMS go second (0+ / 0-)

      And PBO and Clinton and I would imagine the entire theme of the Dem convention will be FORWARD.

      I will not subject myself to watching the Rthug convention, I will let my husband do that, but I can bet, it will be a "you're fired" "POTUS Sucks" fest and that will get really boring really fast.

  •  This is exactly what I'm talking about (0+ / 0-)

    I always say this to those often despirited volunteers for the campaign (Thanks, each and every one of you!) who read too much Daily Kos and Democratic Underground.

    Hundreds of millions spent thus far ( thanks for the small stimulus, shadowy billionaires)

    And the best they can articulate from that is be 2 points down?  6 in some swing states? Texas might be in play?

    It goes to show that no matter how much advertising you do, if your product is crappy, no one will buy.

  •  Ads on TV (0+ / 0-)

    In East-central Wisconsin, we are getting hit with Ads for and against Tommy Thompson and his opponent Tammy Baldwin. The ads for and against President Obama and Mitt Rmoney are becoming more frequent, nosing out the local ads. The ads have been run in each of three consecutive station breaks during the local news and national news every night for over a week.

    I don't watch evening news any more. I get my news from the Internet, from both liberal and conservative sites, with more of the latter. In prime-time, we use the DVR to record the shows in which we're interested, and then racer through the ads. An hour show needs a 24-minute head start, and a half-hour show needs about eighteen minutes.

    I have noticed ads for candidates being played before I can watch anything from Youyube via a national web site. I guess I'll just watch more free pr0n until programming returns to the consumers again, in the second week ofg November.

  •  lojo, sorry to be so late to the party. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wish I'd seen this diary earlier.  

    I agree with everything you said, and I am in marketing.  The amount you have to spend to sell your product is certainly a big factor, but it doesn't trump an ineffective message or a bad product, as you have pointed out.  

    There is a term in Marketing "Advertising to sales."  As I'm sure you know, it tells a business how much they're spending to sell their product, and in the real world of day to day advertising, it is an important and respected figure.  There is a point where if the A to S gets too high, the campaign is considered a failure.

    With Citizens United, unfortunately, there's no such limitations or common sense.  But that doesn't mean the same truths don't prevail.  I suspect much of the millions the GOP PACS will spend will result in an absurd A to S, indicating they are not selling past their base, but rather paying to re-enforce the votes they already have.  You can't grow a product like this, and you can't win an election like this.

    And your brand comments are spot on.  Obama IS a defined brand, for better or worse. Romney is not and has a harder road to hoe in that way, which is why incumbents almost always hold the advantage.  

    Romney HAS not to this point, even come close to creating an emotional bond that appeals outside his base.  Just not there.  Not saying moderate republicans won't vote for him, they will.  But not because of anything he's done, or because of his advertising, but because they're well, republicans.

    And btw, love your comment about Romney's logo.  God, it's hideous and looks like something from the fifties, just like the GOP platform.  This is imo, not a sophisticated ad machine, but rather an old school one.  As I see it, about the ONLY think they've got going for them is lots of money.

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 09:03:42 PM PDT

    •  Interesting points! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Great point about the advertising to sales ratio. Love that.

      I think the likely high Ad to Sales ration for Citizen's United ad buys is partly related to the pay structure used in political advertising.

      Basically, the GOP and Dem consultants have had an amazingly sweet deal until recently. They actually got paid 10% of all the ad buys (like 1960s Mad avenue).  This was because getting the star "media consultant" (i.e., ad guy) was the feather in the crown for the new candidate. And, because the clients always turn over (the DNC or RNC is the  real client) they just kept on paying.  So, these guys just super rich. I had a friend who ran a DM company that had a similar deal in getting paid a percent of total expenditures (and also has made lots of coin this way).  Just amazing that this deal persisted given how tough budgets and negotiations have become in corp marketing.

      Now with Citizens United these guys have several hundred millions to "manage" i.e. spend. And, they are going to spend as much as possible on TV (to up their earnings). They are not going to care whether or not it works. And, the gujys at the campaign typically are in on this deal (as they probably want to work for the big PACs, I would, after the cycle).

      I've heard that the big PACs are negotiating with the ad guys for flat fees (so they are no longer getting 10%) but I would guess they are either getting a smaller % or a % tied to a cap (let me know if you find anything).

      The other dirty little secret I'd love to push forward are how much money the local TV stations are making with all of this (they charge higher rates generally for pol ads because they are mostly spot buys). Given the crash in TV advertising, you gotta imagine the nets and station owners (including newspaper companies) are not too upset about all this "dark" money coming their way as it is still pretty green for them!

      Amazing to me, given how much anxiety and ink are spilled on the dark money, that no one every follows the money and figures out who is really getting paid with all of this stuff.

      Maybe another diary later on!

      •  I think it would be great (0+ / 0-)

        if you did a series on the inside scoop on political advertising. Very little out there or here on that, and your comment above itself is worthy of a diary.

        I'm on the creative end, worked in many ad agencies, then went free lance, which I've been doing for years. I've only worked on 2 political campaigns, as I have to really believe in the candidate to become involved.

        My experiences doing so were both good and bad. In both cases I really liked and believed in the candidate.  The "handlers" were a real pain in the ass.  Several of them would show up at every production venue, argue with each other, make tons of last minute changes----back seat drivers through the whole process. Worse than my experiences with many a client, and that's saying something.

        And it goes without say that the production budgets are small and the deadlines are overnight. I got paid my rate, and I got paid period, but I know many who weren't.  It's a crazy business for a creative.

        I was amazed to hear that these top guys are till taking a percentage off the top of the media buy.  Those days are all but gone in non political advertising, as you know.

        Anyway, I'm going to follow you, so if you do follow up with more diaries, I won't miss them.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 11:31:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  About that Staples thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Guyer

    Democrats should take the time to understand what happened there as it's a huge selling feature of Brand Romney as Job Creator.

    First of there is a difference between Venture capitalists and Private Equity Bankers that should be well known by now. Just in Case, the short version goes something like this:

    Venture Capitalists primarily finance start-ups. There are many classes that can be defined with the  Venture Capitalist side.  Some venture capitalists buy out early venture capitalists or take positions only when the proof of concept is has proven itself.

    Private Equity moves in to established companies and mostly destroys them.

    At the time, Staples was trying to find backing. At first Romney told them no. He claimed that his people had investigated the amount of money that businesses spent on office supplies and it came in way lower than Staples estimates. Staples Management had to take Romney by the hand and show him a simple concept; businesses didn't know how much they are spending on office supplies ( Small to Medium businesses were still getting their feet wet with these things called Personal Computers. So tight financial controls were only for companies that could employ a veritable army of accountants . In other words Romney's team's due diligence, which consisted of calling their pals, wasn't accurate.  

    Staples proved it by taking a sample of businesses small to large and getting ALL the invoices that had been sent to the company from local supply stores. At that time, there was a term widely in use for people who were into cost control; "maverick spenders". There were plenty of these that would go out and buy what they needed on their own credit cards instead of going through a formal requisition system and then getting reimbursed via expense reports or on receipts.

    Bain then put up around $600,000 so Staples could build a pilot store ( a prototype) and test it in the real world. It was at this time that Romney decided that investing in start-ups was too risky and that Bain Capital should go in a different direction.

    Technically , Romney/Bain did invest in Staples, but the amount, even back then was like pocket change. Bain was not willing to go any further then the initial investment so it was up to larger and more experienced Venture capitalists to come up with the large amounts of capital needed. Remember back then, Companies had to show a profit for over a year before they would be taken public.

    At the same time,  Wall Street was literally flooded with money then. It was the era of Leveraged Buy-outs. To Romney, this was far more safer and could be equally as lucrative than Venture Capitalism. As the Taint of Drexel and Michael Millikin became public with the display of raw greed on steroids and meth in the RJ Nabsico buyout that was covered extensively by a terrific HBO flick based on the book; Barbarians at the Gate", Romney decided to do friendly "Private Equity" buy outs. The Companies had to be pretty solid with low or no debt before they would get involved. They came in a the top level by buying/bribing  the CEO and the board so they could ream the rest of the investors, shareholders and employees.

    This was contrary to LBO artists who almost always came in as hostile take-over artists. So, Romney was into Bribes. That was the major innovation he brought to what can only be described as the lowest of the low of Wall Street Bankers which is pretty damn low.

    More importantly Staples would have died a quiet death if Management had depended on Bain and  hadn't been on their feet looking for new Venture Capitalists. They need 10s to 100s of millions. By contrast the $600,000 that Bain invested as a one time shot was insignificant. You can bet, if Bain Capital was the VC of last resort for Staples we would have heard "We invested when nobody else wouldn't".

    More accurately,  He should say " we took a look a venture capital via Staples and decided it was too risky  and decided that bilking people out of their money was much safer.   We were surprised as anyone  to hear that Staples made it"

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