Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Great Moments in Advertising Media Planning

My son is involved in one of the campaigns, so the Massachusetts gubernatorial (great word!) campaign debate was on TV at our house last night. I don't remember a thing about the event except the commercials.

That's right. WBZ-TV, which must really be hurting, sold advertising time during a public service political debate, a fact for which it ought to be ashamed and in fact a fact for which the FCC ought to pull the station's license. Making matters worse, almost all the advertising were political ads for various candidates, including at least one for one of the debating candidates. What a disgrace. Local television is a bigger moral blot on this country than even cable television, which at least presents some entertaining programs.

But that's not what struck me most about the ads. I'm still trying to figure out why over half of the commercials were for or against candidates running for elective office in New Hampshire. The logic of that very expensive purchase of Boston market advertising time escapes me.

Yes, people who watch campaign debates are ipso facto interested in politics and government and hence are likely voters. But the audience for a debate in a Massachusetts election campaign, one would think, would be likely to be likely Massachusetts voters. Not to put too fine a point on it, any New Hampshire resident who watched the debate last night was either a total crank, a shut-in, or both. They'd be a lot cheaper to reach with direct mail.

Then again, it's possible that the New Hampshire campaigns bought advertising time at a reduced rate on the premise it would be presented during news programming without knowing exactly what kind of news programming WBZ had in mind. In that case, New Hampshire citizens should now be aware that many of their leading candidates from political parties are complete suckers.


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