For the past few weeks I've been bombarded by mailings from a candidate for Congress from my district - apparently, for the first time in years, there's a Democratic primary and this guy wants to be my candidate very, very badly.
When I say "bombarded" I mean a mailing a day. Ok, that's a slight exaggeration. There were "only" four last week, and this week one. The campaign has sent out probably 15 mailings over the past 2-3 weeks*, most with the exact same message. The problem is, with this amount of mail coming in, the message isn't being heard (I no longer look at the mailings, I just junk 'em and it's probable that I'm not the only one).
What's the main message? That this guy - Sean Patrick Maloney - is the most qualified candidate. Why? Because he worked as an advisor to President Clinton. And (according to his website) an attorney. Here's my problem: no matter what you think of the Clinton era, it was 10 years ago. TEN. A lot has happened since then, and it's not clear what Maloney's been doing with his time. It's not on his website. Where he stands on issues is boilerplate Democratic blah blah blah, with only one specific (his stand on the Obama healthcare reforms and how they need to be protected). What about the economy, beyond basics? What about the military? Syria? How would he vote on the issues in front of Congress right now?
None of that, anywhere.
Now, I'm as addicted to tv as the next person, and even when I'm fast-forwarding through ads on shows I've DVRd, I see some of the ad. Some companies are getting really bad advice on their media buys. In a multi-hour show it's understandable that a company would like to "brand" the show and purchase several spots. But multiple spots in a half-hour show? Or within the same commercial break? People start tuning out.
Some ads I see are cute, but if you asked me a few minutes later what they were for, I'd probably be at a loss. Blame the use of popular music (and yes, I'm considering Anderson's O, Superman (for Massenet) as "popular") because often there's no connection. When I hear O, Superman (or The Clapping Song) I don't think about the advertised product, I think about teching dance concerts in college or my Belle Stars album. But a good jingle? I can still sing the N-E-S-T-L-E-S song, plop plop fizz fizz-ing with the best of them.
Same thing is happening here. Rather than an intelligent ad campaign, highlighting his qualifications and ideas on the issues, I'm bombarded with paper noise. Is he the most qualified? I have no idea. No one else is mailing me. Will I vote for him? No. I have no idea what he really stands for or what his experience is. Sounds a little like a pig in a poke. In other words...
(ps I've written to the campaign asking them to stop the mailings... no luck thus far. Clearly, the environment is not a concern, as they're using glossy paper that isn't from recycled sources.)
* I'm really glad that the USPS is getting the business but still!