It’s Working

Surprise, surprise, Bush’s ads are working. Bush Scores Points By Defining Kerry:

“Since the end of the Democratic primaries, attacks on John F. Kerry by President Bush and Vice President Cheney, backed by millions of dollars in negative ads, have wiped out the narrow lead Kerry enjoyed at the beginning of the month and damaged his public image.

[. . .] A month later, more voters see Kerry as “too liberal,” and a solid majority says he is someone who has changed his positions on issues for political reasons — both charges leveled by the Bush campaign’s daily attacks through ads and public statements.”

Everyone knew this is what the Bush people would do. Yet I haven’t seen the Kerry campaign doing much (in marketing terms) to counter this. If they let Bush “define” him among many voters as “too liberal” and as someone who changes his mind or says what he thinks voters want to hear, it will be very difficult for him to find his way back.

But maybe this is because I am in California, so I don’t see the ads or read the papers from the battleground states where things are happening. As it is I just don’t see a high degree of consumer marketing awareness — which is where the tobacco marketers handling the Bush campaign are at.

Update – I just left the following comment to this post talking about Bush’s flip-flops over at Angry Bear:

Fine, but this isn’t how marketing works. Bush is out there with ads that say Kerry flip-flops. Kerry is not out there with ads that say Bush does. So Bush wins.

It’s called “defining.” In consumer marketing it’s called “branding.” Bush is the “low tax, leadership” brand. Can you tell me what the Kerry brand is?

I saw Kerry speak Monday. He was all about issues and positions. But Bush is all about feelings and values. He has simple phrases that he repeats over and over. That is marketing. That is what works. Bush has tobacco marketing people handling his ads. Kerry appears to have 80’s Democrat political marketing people handling his campaign.

Bush is the “low tax, leadership” brand. Can you tell me what the Kerry brand is? If not, why not?