Hillary Trumped

Did you see Hillary Clinton’s TV ads? They were powerful stuff. Simple and honed, mercilessly hammering the opponent’s weak spot: all those crazy things Trump kept saying on the campaign trail.

What was striking about the ads was the simplicity and bravery of the approach. Often they seemed to feature little except the words themselves, with only a minimal touch to emphasise just how horrendous the sentiments were – and how far the candidate was from what you’d expect from a political leader.

The young women looking in the mirror:

The young children watching the TV:

The veteran doing the same:

It reminded me of the ‘shot on iPhone 6’ campaign.

What’s the best way to demonstrate just how good the camera is? Put real photos up there on the billboard. Let them do the work and demonstrate the truth. There’s no need to spoil it by doing anything else. Just repeat, repeat, repeat until the message is plain to see and impossible to dismiss.

In a similar way, what’s the best way to demonstrate how unsuitable your opponent is for high political office? Show all the awful stuff he’s said in public. No need for editing or trickery. Just play it back and let him disqualify himself, again and again.

I was really impressed by the ads. I thought it was a properly powerful political campaign. And 60 million Americans may well have agreed – but clearly not the 60 million who mattered on the day.

Perhaps the problem was that Clinton needed to connect with voters who actually liked many of the things Trump was saying. The more outrageous his statements, the more popular he became.

So in hindsight, maybe a campaign that amplified all the things he said may not have been the smartest move…


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