GOP needs to use the web…in new ways

By Too Conservative

From my new piece on Buzzfeed….

Perhaps part of the issue is that Republican campaigns in particular have become focused on ad spending as a metric of success in a specific medium. If you look at tracking polls, the truth is that 90+% of the electorate was always polarized and already decided in this election before a single ad ran. Billions of dollars ran on television from super PACs trying to persuade and reach a small percentage of the electorate in each swing state, while virtually nothing went into creating forward-looking technologies that would be around to help the movement regardless of election results.

Sure, the Obama campaign spent money on television, but it also understood the marketing power in using others to advocate its brand. It knew that a voter sharing an advertisement on a friend’s wall was ultimately more powerful and a better use of money than costly and inefficient broadcast buys. There’s no doubt that television continues to be the dominant place people consume media, but does that necessarily mean it is the best place to persuade a voter?


  • NateDogg614 says:

    Very good points and I definitely agree!

  • Old Yeller says:

    Also agree. Television is a dinosaur. Democrats went way beyond television back in 2008. They realized that the best media is media that anyone can use at any time of the day or night, literally at their fingertips.

    How many televisions are there in the world? A whole bunch. How many laptops, netbooks, iPads, iTouchs, desktops, tablets, even cell phones, etc. all with internet access are there in the world? A whole bunch more. Television is a dinosaur. Internet is King. Internet media places are becoming the dominant places. Four years from now television will not even be called television. They’re all simply display devices driven by internet sources.

    Maybe the Obama administration new what it was doing when it decided to give away free cell phones to people who “can’t afford them.” Now I’m not suggesting to give away anything. I am suggesting that the GOP needs to start producing on the internet much more frequently and effectively. Keep the principles. Without these principles, there would only be Democrats, and Obama’s ‘transformation’ of America would be complete. Produce truth without any label. Bring the ideas and challenges with some fun and levity. Make the messages entertaining. Show how they bring success to everyone … particularly for the youth.

  • Cato the Elder says:

    I think if this past election taught us anything, it’s that trying to persuade voters based on advertising, however you choose to deliver it, yields a very poor return on investment.

    Voting has become tribal. The tribes that reliably vote Democrat are powerful and organized, and ours are not.

    We’d be better off pouring money into tightening up our precinct strikelists, identifying unregistered targets within the demographic, and creating an infrastructure to keep these contacts warm and turn them out on a consistent basis. All available cash needs to go to voter ID and turnout operations.

    No one is persuadable anymore, and having a conversation is useless whether you try to have it in a 30 second ad spot or a snarky YouTube video. This is a war of attrition and we’re losing. The sooner we figure that out, the better.

  • You guys keep talking about HOW the message is delivered – not WHAT the message is. I think the right message that will reach the “tribes” – regardless of whether it’s through digital media or smoke signals.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Television is far from archaic and remains the dominant consumption medium. Ignore television and focus on social media at your peril. Television builds brand. Social media have yet to be shown to have any inherent advantages in building brand.

    Social media deliver messages. Unfortunately in a balkanized way. In other words social media manily reaches an audience that already wants to hear you.

    Lloyd is right and Marshall McLuhan is as wrong as he could have been. The message is the message and medium is secondary.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    You guys that distill McLuhan into that one phrase should really read the book.

    But Lloyd is — nearly — right. “What” is being delivered is the first step towards success.

    Rs have it tough right now because their coalition is not easy to align. Libertarians and social cons? I don’t see how they agree on things. Fiscal conservatives and neo-cons? How does that work?

    Ds have marginalized their nuts and have more alignment available in their coalition. They can even bring in fiscal conservatives and a few libertarians — it’s an easier lift than what happens for the GOP with the rigid social cons and tea partiers.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    LA, social media DOES deliver messages–easily digestible little blurps microtargeted to people who will react to them.

    I’ve only been half-joking on saying everyone should study Idiocracy–in that movie, with Brawndo Corp buying the Department of the Interior and the FCC, how long (or short) a time did it take for the populace to believe that Brawndo was king? And that water was what was in the toilet–snurk hyuck hyuck!

    People who are wedded to their gadgets are a fact, and fb memes do their job quite nicely.

    Some people are paid to post them!

    Distilling economics and the Constitution into simple pieces for people who think they’re smart because it says so on their phone? A worthy and difficult project.

  • The head of Maryland’s marriage campaign appeared on WPFW’s “Inside Out” on Monday. He explained that they won by engaging in a good old fashioned campaign of face to face exchanges to show the voters that, in spite of Frank Shubert’s messaging and use of social media, they are people too. While the medium may be important, the message trumps. Using new technology to promote evil is still evil.

  • Smith says:

    I thought everything Mitt touched turned to Gold?

    How about if your party is run by old white guys, it will run a campaign like a bunch of old white guys.

    Lets also look at turnout. Maybe all those “community organizing” days of democrats really turns into really good get out the vote campaigns.

    This election was not about money, it was TURNOUT. Something the entire GOP has claimed they were shocked by.

  • Old Yeller says:

    You could argue that all elections are about turnout. But this election was about money as well. The Democrats figured out decades ago that if you give away other peoples’ money, then you generate turnout. A big problem with the Dem’s model is that pretty soon you run out of other peoples’ money.

    As far as everything into gold … we’ll never now. Mitt was denied the chance by a slim margin. However, with the Obama 2nd term we can expect further evidence of Obama’s touching turning all the gold into lead.

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