I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Why Going Positive is Inspiring

Don't tell me how bad the other guy's
mountain is ... inspire me to reach
new heights on your mountain.
Photo: Cristian Bortes
Most of us say we are tired of political candidates who go negative. We say we would rather hear about what they want to do, not what they say their opponents want to do. “Give us substance,” we say. “Give us a reason to vote for you rather than against somebody else.”

I’m in that camp.

But why stop with politicians? Aren’t they just doing what so many businesses do?

Here in Omaha, Cox Communications routinely runs a commercial that shows a family with DirecTV attempting to watch television, but are unable to do so because of a storm. The ad shows a fuzzy screen and a frustrated family, and it ends with this voice over: Really? Satellite TV? In Nebraska? [Our weather is all over the place.]

And conversely, DirecTV runs commercials showing depressed men who won’t be able to watch their favorite football teams because they have cable. But if they had DirecTV, and $200.00 for the NFL Sunday Ticket, then all of their football watching dreams would come true.

Wendy’s is running a commercial in which Wendy Thomas is touting the “Wendy’s Way,” saying, in part, “Some places use beef that travels halfway around the world. Frozen. On a cargo ship. Not Wendy’s.”

A commercial for Advil PM starts with a man saying, “I’m doing my own sleep study. Advil PM or Tylenol PM?” The commercial shows two men in a room – each covered in a blanket with the names of the respective medications. “The Advil PM guy is spending less time lying awake with annoying aches and pains, and more time asleep,” continues the man who is supposedly doing a sleep study. The actor under the Tylenol PM blanket grabs his shoulder and rubs it while the Advil PM actor is crashed.

Contrast those commercials with this one from Brawny:

I’m not inspired by Cox’s running down of DirecTV (even though their negativity is true – storms do disrupt my DirecTV service) or vice versa. I’m also not going to rush out to buy a burger from Wendy’s or a package of Advil PM based on their commercials. All of these ads are self-serving, at best. But the next time I’m at the store, there’s a good chance I’ll buy Brawny paper towels.


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