Ad Raises Question: Is Cain Able?

October 26th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

When I see a company run really bad advertising, it makes me wonder, “If they’re screwing up something as import as the way they market themselves, what else are they screwing up?

That’s the way I now feel about Herman Cain.  While he appears to be a great guy, and he was clearly a very successful businessman, his new TV commercial now makes me question his judgment. I’ve watched the spot several times, and each time I’m left with the same question: “What was he thinking?”

If he couldn’t anticipate that voters (and the media) would be at best puzzled, and at worst turned off, by a shot of chief of staff Mark Block smoking a cigarette–just before transitioning to an image of Cain himself–what else would he fail to anticipate as Commander-in-Chief?

That might be an overreaction on my part, but the point is that this ad has weakened the Cain brand by introducing uncertainty. The essence of branding is being crystal-clear about exactly what you stand for.  And right now I’m not sure if Herman Cain is a legitimate contender to be our next president, or if he’s just blowing smoke.

1 comment

  1. Matt R says:

    Your assessment of the Cain ad was dead on target. Right at the point that most people are beginning to take notice of this rapidly rising candidate, he produces an ad that just makes you scratch your head. While an effective ad should improve one’s impression of a product, the opposite was the end result in this case.

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