Thursday, 7 August 2008

Paris Hilton, Barack Obama and John McCain: the fine art of seduction

Whilst the John McCain ad comparing Obama to Paris Hilton & Britney Spears ( I guess they were aiming for Obama to be painted as "inexperienced" and hence unqualified to lead) has been the subject of intense scrutiny- Meet the press last week led with this as a topic, the lady Paris has actually hit back with an amazing repartee- which has, in my eyes, put McCain completely in the defensive- fancy that- A seasoned politician with all the might of the best brains in the business being given an amazing response by a 27 year old who was supposed to undermine Barack by being compared with him. Fantastically amusing and interesting for sure, but I wonder if there is a deeper message here?

I believe Marketing is about "influencing" behaviour change, and hence, I propose that elections and the entire political process is the ultimate form of influence for behaviour change – as a candidate, one needs to take their people from point A (don't know/ don't care about you) to Point B (I like/ will vote for you). Hence I am absolutely fascinated by political processes and hence the presidential campaign.

The point I derive from the above episode, apart from the considerable humour, is this- the entire influence game is about seduction and creating sex appeal, not about logic. The coolest people/ gadgets/ brands are not cool because they have logically convinced us that we need to be associated with them. A sense of mystique needs to be created, and whilst what you say and how you say it is important, even more important is what you don't say!

Must say my respect for Paris Hilton has gone up a few notches!



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