This year’s election saw an astronomical amount of money spent on media by both parties. Money poured into the production of slick ads – some attack, some inspirational, some funny. Media buys in swing states went off the charts trying to persuade people to vote a certain way.
Some so-called political and media wizards convinced big donors that the key to the election outcome rested in flooding the airwaves. Millionaires and billionaires poured tons of dollars into the creation and broadcast of ads. Given enough money, we were told the results were virtually guaranteed.
Wrong, as it turned out. Here’s what Donald Trump tweeted: “Congrats to @KarlRove on blowing $400 million this cycle. Every race @CrossroadsGPS ran ads in, the Republicans lost. What a waste of money.”
So what happened, and why did this collective belief in the all-powerful media collapse under the weight of reality? Well, the side that lost has some soul-searching to do, but in our (humble) opinion at WMS media, it boils down to not following the basics in creating resultive media:
1. Be clear about the desired results.
2. Know your audience very well.
3. Have a product or service that meets the needs of the audience.
Clearly the losing side has some ‘splainin’ to do to its big donors. But in hindsight, it’s easy to see how they missed the mark on numbers 2 and 3 above.
At the end of the day you can spend all the money in the world creating media, but ultimately if you have a product your audience doesn’t want, how much you spend on your media won’t make a difference.
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