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Selling A President 2020

Apr 15, 2020

ELLIS VERDI, President DeVito/Verdi: Traditional creative ad agencies are increasingly being divorced from political advertising. If campaigns rely on advertising more than ever today, then why is the work being entrusted to those outside the business?

Is this a major mistake by candidates or simply navel gazing by the ad industry? Let the debate begin. This is Season 1, Episode 3 Strange bedfellows, politics and advertising. 

What is it about our industry that we are either not fitting in or fitting in? And when do we fit in? Should we even be assuming that we should have a role in political advertising? I don't know what the answer is to that. 

GREG HAHN Chief creative officer of BBDO New York: Because so much about politics right now is about the money they're spending on advertising, like it's all based on getting money for advertising. Yet when clients are hurting or their sales go down, the first they cut is advertising. If ever there was a case study for saying, you know, spend more money on advertising, you get a lift. 

ELLIS So if the business models don't align and the creative process tends to take too long for today's campaigns, it doesn't appear that traditional creative agencies will find a place on the presidential ticket anytime soon. 

We can make people cry. I don't think a political consultant or political agency knows how to do that. We can make an emotional reaction be so much stronger than anybody.. 

LEE GARFINKLE Advertising legend: This is probably one of the most important times in American history. And it's one of the most important opportunities or biggest opportunities for advertising, because I think advertising, whether it's a debate, whether it's commercials, whether it's on Facebook to make a difference and to not have the very, very best people in the industry involved to help, I think it's sad. 

ELLIS [00:15:51] If advertising agencies can make people cry and make them buy, you think candidates would return to a model that works so well for decades with so much riding on how a candidate is advertised to the electorate and how much is being spent to do so. Creative advertising needs to get back in the race, especially this year during the selling of a president 2020.