How a Marco Rubio Advertising Campaign Brilliantly Scares the Bejeezus Out of Their Prospects. (And It Works Like a Charm.)
Advertising Copywriting Isn’t Rocket Science, But If You Zig While Your Competitors Zag, You Can Find Gold. Here’s how Marco Rubio Is Doing It.
If you’ve read anything I’ve written, bless you child, but you know that I believe in the power of stories. Particularly to help build brands. (Stolen from David Ogilvy, advertising god.)
Usually, that story emanates from the brand. Why you do what you do; what makes you different; where you came from; etc.
However, you always need to know the mindset of your prospects and the strategies of your competitors, and how everything interacts with your story.
No better current ad campaign follows this rule as well as the Marco Rubio ads paid for by the Conservative Solutions PAC. (Whoever the hell they are, probably sitting in a smokey room with whiskey I’ve never heard of.)
Side note: Let’s talk advertising strategy, not politics. I’m independent, but obviously Pandora thinks I’m a Republican. Every example below is from Pandora. Now let’s break this campaign down.
Is the campaign talking about Rubio’s plans for America? Nope.
Is it talking about how he’s superior to the other Republican candidates? Pfft.
The campaign talks about how Democrats fear him.
What a brilliant strategy. Why, as a Republican, would you support a candidate the Democrats do not fear? Why don’t they fear them? Because they will beat them. (Or so the strategy theorizes. Quite wisely, in my opinion.)
When I meet a new client or kick off a new project, here are my two favorite questions to ask:
- What do your customers love about [the buying process]?
- What do they hate about [the buying process]?
For example, UTV tire buyers hate tires that fail. They love tires that work and look darn good when they do it.
The beautiful insight that the Conservative Coalition is utilizing is that the prospects (Republicans) don’t want the Democrats to win. This is their pain point.
And what do the prospects’ enemies (the Democrats) fear? Marco Rubio.
Damn that’s brilliant.
Look, they don’t even use Marco’s face in most of their ads! They use the “enemy!”
Check out the website screen grab below. They quote Dan Pfeiffer in a video and in a written testimonial. (Be sure to visit rubiocanwin.com. Its landing pages match the particular ad you click from, by the way. So smart.)
Now look at ad #2. They show Rubio’s competitors. They’re not even talking about Rubio!
For the third ad, the PAC said “screw it, we’re showing our hero.”
I listen to Pandora every single day at work. I’m not sure why they think I’m a die-hard Republican. Maybe it’s the Alice In Chains station, or the Grateful Dead, Stone Temple Pilots, The Who ,Tom Petty or Shakira. Kidding. About the Tom Petty.
For the last two weeks, I’ve heard nothing but Rubio “radio” spots. Seriously, like 100 of them. However, I have yet to hear one single campaign goal from Rubio, or a core belief of Rubio, or a plan by Rubio. It’s only targeted its prospects by playing to their fear: that the Democrats will win.
The insight: the Democrats fear Marco Rubio. The strategy: If the Democrats fear Rubio, he must be the best Republican candidate for victory.
No kissing babies. No hand waving. No American flag. Just good, old-fashioned insight into the prospects’ minds. Frankly, it’s smart as hell and refreshing.
David Ogilvy (again, advertising god) also preached that testimonials are gold and that every ad should offer one simple benefit.
Our campaign above checks off both boxes, and uses the testimonials of the “enemy” to do so. Very savvy.
How Can You Follow the Lead of the Conservative Solutions PAC? (Without Selling Your Soul)
1. Don’t Talk About Yourself
Talk about what the prospect wants or fears. Republicans don’t want Democrats to win. No one wants a plumber who changes the bill at the last minute. No one wants a website that can’t convert.
2. Focus on the Fear, Then Erase the Fear
Don’t be overly dramatic. Be professional, but don’t hesitate to find the 2 or 3 things that really irritate your prospect. Before you extoll the virtue of your world-changing software, why not talk about how people hate it when their messaging platforms are complicated, unproductive or a pain the ass. (Go check out Slack.com to see how their checking the pain point boxes of their prospects.)
So there you go. My one simple takeaway for you: be more like the Conservative Solutions PAC.
God help us all.
(I look forward to the hate mail that says that Chad Rucker told everyone to be more like the Conservative Solutions PAC, without reading the entire article. Oh well. )
If you dig David Ogilvy, I created a cheat sheet of my favorite “Ogilvyisms.” Steal it below for free.
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