This week as I'm watching the sound bites for the upcoming contest between Obama and McCain, I can't help feel like I'm watching a Mac/PC commercial.
Can't you see Obama standing there saying, "Hello, I'm a Mac" and then McCain, "and I'm a PC"?
Maybe you can't, but as I watch these two teams square off to sell the American people on their vision of the future, I can't help but see two very different marketing messages.
When Kennedy came across as comfortable and relaxed against Nixon on the first broadcast TV debate, it changed how we perceive our candidates. They had to be good on TV.
Today, as we watch this campaign, we are seeing another shift, another swing in the way we see the candidates, and this time it is something similar but different. It is the entire marketing message, complete with sound bites, YouTube clips, theme, and look.
I hear McCain speaking and I feel like I'm listening to a techie. A software developer who is going to explain to me why his product is superior because of certain features. I hear an argument on the technical merits of the candidate. You go to Google and type in McCain and one of the paid Google Ads comes up JohnMcCain.com/Experience. Didn't we just see that marketing line used by Hillary and it didn't work for her. Why does the McCain camp think it will work for them? Because...they are saying that their candidate is REALLY experienced.
Sounds like a software developer telling me that their product is better because it has more features.
Obama reminds me of the Mac. Very flashy, very slick, and generates a lot of excitement. And just like in the Mac/PC TV commercials, PC often states that Mac is just for fun while PC is for business, or in other words, McCain is all about experience and Obama just doesn't have it.
And what about Linux? That is Ron Paul. Still out there campaigning but not getting the mega attention of the other two. Yet, Ron Paul represents a movement of people that won't go away and will continue to influence the political landscape just as Linux is doing it to the OS landscape.
My prediction for this year's general election is that McCain will stay on message, a message that is strong on its technical merits about his qualifications to be President, while Obama will continue to wow the audience with his style.
And how will we vote...my prediction will be that we vote the same way we make a purchase. After thinking it through, weighing our choices, we will buy (Vote) for the one that makes us emotionally feel better about ourselves. And right now, all indications are, that the Obama message is the one that is resonating. And the McCain camp will start screaming, just like Hillary did, that it isn't fair, he doesn't have any qualifications, he isn't experienced, he doesn't have a track record, you can't trust him...those all may be valid arguments, but when it comes down to it, we buy from people we like, not necessarily people we trust, and we elect our politicians the same way.