A lesson from the world of politics. It is no secret in the world of advertising that multiple ads are often prepared in anticipation of multiple outcomes and then most appropriate ad is released. It is also not a secret that quotes are often prepared by a PR firm and then you simply obtain the consent of the person to whom these are attributed.
What we have seen in the McCain-Palin campaign is the sloppiness in execution of this strategy. In the first instance, declaring Republican presidential candidate John McCain as the winner in banner ads online even before the debate happened was a PR disaster. Similarly, touting the debating skills of Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin by using a generic “famous person” shows the lack of professionalism of people who are running the advertising programs for the McCain-Palin campaign.
So what can we learn from this?
- Accuracy and professionalism is more important than speed. If those ads had appeared several hours later after thorough checking, they would have been more powerful — now they are simply topics of ridicule.
- Don’t trust your advertising agency too much. While it may be the campaign of your life (in the case of Sen. McCain it literally is), for a typical advertisement firm, it is simply yet another project, and while you may be excited about a big market share or new product launch, for people in the advertising firm, it is simply an ad project. In other words, outsourcing without supervision is not going to work.