Political Parties Don’t Have A Clue When It Comes To Marketing!

When was the last time you sung along to a political party's campaign jingle?

I bet you just can't remember.

I'm absolutely amazed at how poor the marketing is for all of our political parties.

With the exception of Barack Obama's "Yes I Can" campaign of 2008, political campaigns worldwide leave a lot to be desired.

Barack Obama knows what marketing is all about and his team and himself orchestrated a brilliant campaign back in 2008.

On the Australian front, 95% of our political campaigns over the last 20 years have been woeful.

The only exceptions to stand out are Gough Whitlam's "It's Time" campaign back in 1972 and the 1978 NSW Labor Party campaign for Neville Wran, being "Wran's Our Man."a

I can't believe how uncreative ALL of the political signs are the ones on the side of the road at election time.

Just a photograph of the candidate and his or her name and party logo.




Surely someone will wake up one day and decide to include a promise or two on the sign?!

Oops …… forgot ……politicians don't like making "promises!"

Obviously the campaign offices of candidates have never heard of the "problem/ solution" tactics of the emotional direct response marketing formula.

If ever you are personally nominating yourself for any elected position, be it at the local council or on the committee of a business body, make sure you always consider a "wow factor" and use emotional direct response tactics.

Tell your constituents what their problems are and 'how' you're going to fix them!

Exactly the same advice I give businesses!


Can you imagine Woolies, Coles or Bunnings sticking placards all over suburban streets, showing the store manager's face and their business name?

It would be "marketing madness" – and quite laughable.

So whoever is responsible for the lame, childish, plain stupid marketing campaigns of all of the political parties for this 2013 election SHOULD BE SACKED.

And the fact that Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd & co actually ACCEPT these nonsense marketing initiatives shows you their level of marketing savvy!

Such signage is a complete waste of resources and I doubt if anyone is influenced by such corny tactics.


Anyone over 45 can probably remember the Labor Party's incredibly clever campaign back in 1972, when Gough Whitlam's team gained the support of a large amount of TV and sporting celebrities who agreed to sing the "It's Time" catchy theme song with gusto!

They had the hair standing up on the back of our necks with a political version of Michael Jackson's "We Are The World" video!

Most political parties simply dream up a boring tagline which is generally a motherhood statement that means very little.

Perhaps you wouldn't expect the smaller parties to have sophisticated marketing campaigns.

But in the case of Labor and the Liberal parties, surely someone in their organisations can appreciate how woeful their marketing efforts are.

Of course, the parties need to build their motherhood brand and therefore develop the personality of their political party, but they also have to understand that people are resistful to change unless you present them with their problem and then give them your solution.

I often refer clients to the very successful TV advertorials for weight loss programs and fitness equipment. Putting aside the corniness of some of these infomercials, the actual tactics are very powerful. They show you the problem, they aggravate the problem, provide you with the solution – and then add proof via testimonials from real people.

No political party uses this "Wow Factor Direct Response Formula" in their marketing and I believe that the first to do it will sweep the floor.


Smart marketers understand that in 2013, everyone's attention span is that of a goldfish and therefore it's vital to use "emotional direct response tactics" to grab the target market's attention.

My direct response marketing formula revolves around a problem/solution scenario which follows the following sequence:

  1. Highlight the problem
  2. Aggravate the problem
  3. Provide the solution
  4. Give proof (normally "real people" testimonials.)
  5. Call to action

I was having a creative brainstorm session with some of my clients last week and during the forum, a bold and provocative idea for the Liberal Party campaign arose.

It was highlighted that until the recent Labor Party leadership coup, a classic campaign for the Liberal Party could have been an image of Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan driving a famous fur-covered van from a 1993 classic movie starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels!

Given the escalation of the budget deficit in recent months, we all know what the headline above such an image would read! (Dumb and Dumber!)

I'm not saying that I would endorse cheekiness to this level, but it demonstrates the type of creativity which would command attention and is sadly missing in the boring marketing campaigns of both parties.

I nickname my "problem/solution formula" the Panadol Answer.

In other words, highlight your prospects' headache and give them an instant solution.

I was being interviewed on a city radio station last week and the talk-back host asked me "if I could magically deliver a landslide win" to either of the big parties with my "wow factor marketing formula?"

I replied "yep, probably – because I'd be able to tap into the emotions of most Australians and instantly differentiate one party from the other."

The radio station's switchboard jammed with callers pleading for me NOT to provide advice to the Labor Party!


Remember, you can tap into this sort of “wow thinking” for your business – my programs are at http://www.theinstituteofwow.com/products/




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