Day 303 – Wisconsin is cluttered. The airwaves. The streets. Mailboxes. Especially computer screens.
I swear, it looks like someone vomited politics all over web browsers. Nothing stands out while everything blends together into one giant heap of regurgitated spin.
Nowhere, in my entire political career, have I seen such blatant examples of mediocrity. Everyone does the same thing because they think that’s what political marketing is supposed to look like.
Three months ago a client told me he wanted a completely innovative website. The next day he sent me an example of ten political websites he liked. “Seriously?” I asked. “How do you want to different while looking like these political websites? You cannot have it both ways,” I explained. Unfortunately he went the ‘normal’ route. And that’s normal.
Six weeks ago a congressional campaign I was working on hired a new campaign manager. Two months prior I relaunched their website for just $1,000. That’s right, just $1,000. I did it by creating the simplest, most minimal site I could. The result was innovative. The cheap and simple site actually worked because it wasn’t cluttered and it sucked the visitor into the most important parts. The new campaign manager hated it and she forced us to redesign and redevelop the entire site to “make it look more normal.”
Normal is bland. Normal is cluttered. Normal sucks. And it sucks because it just gets lost in the shuffle.
Normal is also absolutely no fun.
This post isn’t meant to attack anyone. I honestly have no clue who is doing the web, mail, and TV work in Wisconsin. I just know its one giant cluttered mess. That’s not to say that it isn’t good. Some of the ads are very good. They just all look the same. The strategy seems to be more TV points rather than more creativity. It could have been more.
But we fall to the whims of those wanting normal. And we lose.
As we move deeper into this election cycle I find myself depressed because I’ve seen very little innovation since the last cycle. I thought this year would blow my socks off. It hasn’t.
Part of me wants to blame the marketers. Another part wants to blame the clients for holding the marketers back. Today I’m blaming the former. Marketers don’t have to cater to the clients who want normal. In fact, we don’t have to take the clients at all. It’s up to us. But we all do, because we want money.
That right there is the ultimate problem. Too many people, and not just in politics, make money their top priority when they should make innovation their top priority.
In the end, innovation brings money. And fun. And change. And most importantly, inspiration.
Being in Wisconsin this weekend has inspired me. Find something to inspire yourself.
- Wesley Donehue
Powered by Facebook Comments