Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Political Advertising: Run the Other Way

RWA staffers spend a fair amount of time reading (especially the copywriters who aspire to writing their own great American novel some day). While perusing the Barnes and Noble bookshelves looking for inspiration, one of our staffers ran across an unlikely choice for a little light, spring break reading. Nonetheless, Bill Hillsman's book "Run the Other Way" in hand, she proudly marched to the checkout counter and then home to pack her selection in her carry-on bag.

Hillsman, an advertising veteran, is the creative force behind many memorable and winning political campaigns including Jesse Ventura's successful run for Governor of Minnesota in the late '80's. Hillsman takes a different approach to political advertising, one that is proven successful, but one that most politicians will never use.

An hour into flight and completely caught up on People and In Style, she delved into the pages of "Run the Other Way" and, surprise, surprise, was enthralled. She will never look at political advertising the same.

In a posting on one of our favorite blogs - HeyWhipple - advertising legend Luke Sullivan agrees. "Can you imagine what would happen to cola sales if Pepsi and Coke engaged in these horrible, groin-kicking antics?" he writes. “Pepsi says it doesn’t have venereal dog turds floating in its carbonation tanks, … but what do the facts say?”

As for RWA, we vote for better ads this election year.