Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Political Marketing

The current French presidential elections are showing that political marketing done by political advisers seldom works. Consider this; after five years on the job, Sarkozy's party hasn't yet figured out that the president had pissed off half of France by his exuberant display of private life and his occasional vulgarity.

True, all the good, positive moves made by Nicolas Sarkozy have been largely overshadow by a terrible financial crisis and by relentless attacks from the media and the political pundits. I've also said that his electorate is impatient and would have liked bountiful results yesterday.

Yet, none of the above, nor the fact that Hollande always had an advantage in the polls, had convinced Sarkozy's advisers that he should “retool” his campaign, make overtures early on to the candidates of the extreme-right and center (Le Pen and Bayrou) and should project a more pragmatic image of their very no-nonsense president.

Barring a miracle, an unforeseen political event that might play into Sarkozy's hands or a major gaffe by Francois Hollande during the upcoming debate, the incumbent is guaranteed to lose the election. Desperate times like this call for desperate measures. Why not reposition the candidate as the “product” that isn't perfect, but still beats the alternative...

The positioning statement should acknowledge that even though all politicians are bad, Sarkozy is not nearly as bad as his opponent. This would force all people into thinking and particularly those who are always on the fence, in any election.

That's about what I would propose and by doing so, inject a good dose of humanity and credibility into a doomed campaign. This might serve as a catalyst to corral in all the Hollande doubters, whether they are among the extreme-right, the center and even the entire left.

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