Andrew Essex, CEO of Droga5, says that the 2012 presidential candidates should invest in negative ads. And lots of them.
“Opposition research is the engine that drives the bulk of negative advertising,” he says. “People like hearing about the candidate who spends $500,000 a month on Tiffany jewelry.”
Essex spoke with us about how all presidential candidates are like brands. On the Republican side, Romney is a “tarnished brand,” Pawlenty “needs to develop a personality” — and Palin needs the most work. On the other hand, “Obama is a definitive brand.”
Leading up to the 2008 presidential race, the Obama team asked his ad agency to turn Obama into a frontrunner. More specifically, “we were tasked with swinging Florida,” he says.
Droga5 created The Great Schlep, a YouTube video in which Sarah Silverman told young Jews to convince their grandparents in Florida to vote democratic. The ad went viral and Obama took 51% of the state.
Though the video was a huge success in 2008, he says that it won’t work in 2012 — because at the time, “a social media campaign was a new thing.”
Produced By: Kamelia Angelova & Simone Foxman
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