ترول ایرانی

گالری عکس

Dear Lord, What Have We Started?

Found this at a British politics and public policy blog.

The white board seems to come into its own in US campaigning in recent times. First we saw Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson’s very successful campaign ads in the last election cycle, with Johnson standing in front of a white board explaining how the Senate was dominated by lawyers, with few coming from a business background. In fact, these ads were so iconic in the campaign, Johnson’s opponent Russ Feingold ended up doing his own white board ad. Now techPresident links to this new video from the White House showing adviser Stephanie Cutter going through the healthcare debate on a white board.

You can see why this white board approach is successful. Unlike many presentation techniques, the white board approach tends to amplify what the speaker is saying rather than taking attention away from it. People tend to draw simple graphics that emphasise certain points, or to write up certain key words. Contrast this with the standard powerpoint approach which often drowns the audience in massive amounts of data and text that they can’t possibly process while listening to a speaker at the same time.

It’ll be interesting to see if any UK campaigns pick up on this. It’s possible to think of quite a few who might benefit from this approach.

I’ve actually seen a few of the White House’s whiteboard presentations since they started doing them in late September initially, and really picked them up with the tax cut debate during the 2010 “Lame Duck” session.  One could say the White House and Chairman of the Economic Advisers Austin Goolsbee ripped off the idea from us in the Johnson campaign.

“57” was released earlier that week and immediately was abuzz among the DC political class.  Was the White House copying the Johnson Campaign ad, or was it in the hopper for a while?

You decide.

As for Feingold’s late in the game counter-ad on the “Whiteboard” image, I actually thought it was way too late in the campaign to make much of a difference.  Also, upon its release was probably the first time during the race I honestly thought we on the Johnson Campaign were going to win it.

Guys on the verge of victory don’t attempt to co-opt an image from the other campaign.  Guys about to lose do.

It will be interesting to see if British campaigns also start using the whiteboard in their campaigns.  In Britain, campaign ads last up to five-minutes in length and are called “Political Broadcasts.”  (See last year’s from the Tories here, Labour here, and the Lib Dems here.)  You wonder if using a whiteboard image will work with that sort of length, or would it get buried in wonk-speak.

Finally, I’d be amiss if I didn’t give all the credit to our ad team.  Brad and Curt, you guys rock!

Be Sociable, Share!
  • UPS did white board ads back in Spring of 2007.

    Dan Roam’s Back of the napkin published in March 2008. His Unfolding the Napkin (in which he discusses the Laffer Curve as a prime example of using pictures to solve problems in a political application) came out December 2009.

    I think the White House White Board debuted on September 30, 2010.

    My hunch is that the white board’s popularity in political messaging is due more to The Martin Agency and Dan Roam than the Ron Johnson campaign or the Obama administration.

  • Everyone knows “57” was a take-off of the UPS ads. It’s why we all said “WTH?” in the campaign when the JS’s Don Walker said it was a take-off of Glenn Beck.

  • Skip

    Plus The Senate and Congress have used Whiteboards for decades to make their points on the floor during debate.