To counter or not to, 'tis the question

That depends upon the number of fence sitters.

Let me explain. Obama has unveiled his first national ad. that features him as someone who worked his way through college, fights for American jobs, and battles for health care. The communique' also seeks to move him to the center by taking credit for welfare reform in Illinois which, the ad proclaims, reduced the rolls by 80%.

As Dick Morris and Eileen McGann explain, much of what is said in the Ad. is just not true, in fact they are gross exaggerations. The question that looms large for McCain is, should he seize this 'opening' and counter attack with communiques that 'expose' the exaggerations?

The answer, YES, simply because there are too many fence sitters in the US still undecided about who they will vote for. And they are eager recipients to information emanating from both campaigns. In the end they will weigh what they know and then decide who to vote for. McCain's counter communiques can sway them by exposing Obama for who he really is. Of course, there would be no swaying the college youth blinded by Obama's glib talk. But then the fence sitter population is too big for McCain to not communicate with a counter Ad. My recommendation, go for it, ambush the Obaba campaign with an Ad that features the recommended headline, "John McCain: when you have real experience, you don't need to exaggerate."

Marketers must be careful in using communiques to counter any information already in the consumer space. If there too many fence sitters who's minds haven't been made up, Counter! If not, Ignore! Saying nothing at all at times is better than saying anything especially when consumers minds have been made up. In such scenarios stealthy neutral communiques, not emanating from the marketer is the only way out.


Unknown said…

As you said in one of your classes, PR works better than direct advertising by the protagonist.

Talking of fence-sitters, one of my profs Dr. M.K. Gandhi at Nizam College, Hyd once said that the most clever voter in India is the villager who never reveals his mind and makes it up only at the last moment weighing all his options.

I think the concept of fence-sitters applies everywhere. iphone, Tata Nano and so on. Their size cannot be ignored.

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