With seven days to go until the Iowa caucus in which voters will take the first step towards determining the 2016 presidential hopefuls, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are holding onto their front-runner advantage. Their competitors are stepping up their campaigns on both positive and negative fronts in order to score any last minute points that may keep them alive in the race. But will this media blitz make much of a difference this late in the game? Short answer: it can’t hurt their chances, although it may dent their pocketbooks.
Iowa’s airwaves have been inundated with TV and radio ads this week as everyone prepares for the first vote in the presidential campaign. $40 million has been spent on advertising in Iowa already but the deluge is only likely to intensify. However with such a diverse field of candidates the noise is deafening and there is a real risk of voters starting to tune out, so that’s where being creative can really make a difference.
Perhaps that’s why Bernie Sanders has been making waves with his recent TV ad that is full of love, patriotism and Simon and Garfunkel – because it is so different from all the others. It shows ordinary Americans doing ordinary activities but against the music it evokes a sense of emotional aspiration for the future. It stands out against the recent round of negative ads on the Republican side which apply traditional mud-slinging tactics against anyone who is considered a threat. Unsurprisingly the two fiercest negative campaigners are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz who are neck and neck in the polls. With the media suggesting that many Iowans are still undecided as the voting countdown begins, a well-polished, well-timed TV ad might mean the difference between winning and losing.
Want to know how to kick ass in advertising? Movie for your mood: In Good Company