Blogs > HNN > Why did Hillary's Red Phone ad work?

Mar 7, 2008 1:18 pm

Why did Hillary's Red Phone ad work?

There are many reasons why Hillary Clinton won the Texas primary. But surely one reason is the phone "It's 3am ..." ad.

And why did it work?

Fear works, that's why.

Americans don't pay much attention to politics so politicians have to hit them over the head with powerful emotional messages.

Should we criticize the pols for doing this or criticize the public?

You go to election with the public you have, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld. Can pols be faulted for correctly sizing up people and playing to their emotions?

In all matters like this there's the danger of over-reaching. People get it when they're crudely manipulated. Had Hillary used Jaws-style music to accompany her message ad it would have flopped. But she played it about right.

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