A McLuhan Take on the Bern

And why Republicans should be getting smoked right now


Actually, some Republicans are getting smoked right now on a cost-per-vote basis, most notably Jeb Bush. Jeb’s campaign committees just spent somewhere north of $35 million dollars on television in New Hampshire. That works out to about $1,150 per vote, which is actually an improvement over the $2,835 per vote he spent in Iowa.

Were the ads any good? Who knows, and apparently, who cares? The issue of the hour isn’t the quality of the creative, but the medium of the message because, as Marshall McLuhan put it “the medium is the message.”  What he meant by that was that the form of a medium, such as television, embeds itself in the experience and becomes part of the message. What we have witnessed may well be the impossibility of communicating the notion of relevancy through the medium of a political ad on television. The medium, in effect, was a buzzkill.

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Why that 19-year-old with a cell phone may be the most important person in your campaign this year.

2016 is the year campaigns will either live or die on social media. And frankly, most candidates aren’t ready for it.

To put it bluntly, if you are not already talking with your voters on social media, you’re behind. It’s really that simple. And note, we said talking with, not at. It’s a conversation.

Last year, we won the Gold for “Best Use of Facebook Advertising” and “Best Online Campaign”. We know Facebook really well, and since most of your online spending needs to go on Facebook and Instagram, we’ll use them as examples. And yes, in the world of social media, last year was a lifetime ago, but FIVE things we learned still matter.

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