Basic Marketing

Josh a Talking Points Memo writes: “I just saw a preview of a study that finds the Swift Boat ads quite effective among independents in raising doubts about John Kerry’s war record.”

I was wondering what people were thinking, when they said that McCain saying this ad is “dishonorable,” etc. would neutralize the effect of this. That is WAY too “inside baseball.” These ads are running in swing states, and they are very effective. Anyone who might change their mind in this election is not someone who even knows or cares who John McCain is!

Update – Let me try to explain it this way. If Pepsi starts running ads that say Coca Cola is made from juices drained from corpses, how much good do you think it would do to counter that by giving the press a statement from the Vice President of the Tropicana Orange Juice company saying that what Pepsi is doing is dishonorable? Do you think Coke sales will rebound? (Sorry for the graphic image, but it seems to me it is a rough equivalent for the smear they are running.)

Why doesn’t the Kerry campaign have something ready to counter smears? They should have had something ready in the smear-countering department two years ago, as the necessary first step in launching a campaign against any Republican. This stuff works – that’s why they do it! And they do it, over and over and over. At some point one would think that the Democratic leadership would figure out that this is what they do and hire the psychologists and linguists and marketing specialists to come up with ways to effectively counter smears like this.