Friday, November 19, 2004

The Campaigns & the Media

Throughout this presidential election, I felt that the Bush campaign showed an excellent feel for today's media -- 24-hour cable news, talk radio, blogs, the endless opportunities for niche-marketing -- while the Kerry campaign seemed stuck in the Walter Cronkite era of the 7:00 news and The New York Times.

Buried within a Dan Balz piece on the Republican Governors' Association meeting is a briefing given by Ken Mehlman, which includes a discussion of the Bush campaign's use of non-traditional media. This included such ethnoreligious niches as Christian radio and Spanish-language TV, but it also included two means of reaching the vital exurban / young-family constituency:

"The campaign bought local radio advertising adjacent to rush-hour traffic reports and beamed ads into health clubs with their own TV networks. 'A lot of young families get information not at the 7 o'clock news but at their 7 o'clock workout before they go home,' [Mehlman] said."

Mehlman also explained demographic targeting:

If you drive a Volvo and you do yoga, you're pretty much a Democrat," Mehlman said. "And if you drive a Lincoln or a BMW and you own a gun, you're voting for George W. Bush."

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