The Complex of leveraging the 2016 Presidential Election in advertising.

Within the heat of the 2016 US Presidential Election, the one thing we all agree on is that we’re sick of it. This isn’t going to be opinion-based propaganda, but an analysis of the political complex in advertising. Caught in the riptide that is the tidal wave of media activity covering the presidential election, it’s hard for brands not to try and salvage some of the attention. Yet I argue that going down this path has the potential to isolate your brand from a hefty portion of your target audience.


It’s simple. If a brand expresses a bias toward a social issue through their advertising, there will always be a certain portion of consumers who have opposing views. This is an obvious red flag for any advertiser interested in leveraging a political election or societal issue. It’s a difficult area to work in because although for a large number of people the message could effectively resonate, but on the other hand, a significant portion of the other people in your audience will resent it.


Yet among the turmoil that is Donald Trump’s appalling rhetoric and Hillary Clinton’s laundry list of scandals, there are creative agencies’ that give us hope. The creative agency McGarryBowen produced a spot for the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee that shed light on the power of unity, rather than political stigma. The spot, “Free To Be” embodies what the brand and America stand for, freedom and adventure. Its heartfelt message of “What unites us is stronger than what divides us”, essentially sums up the best marketing practice of the 2016 Presidential Election. Check out the spot in the link below and let me know what you think!




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