Episode 3: Marketing The 2020 US Election – Not Another Digital Marketing Podcast

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Rafie Edruce:

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to another episode of Not Another Digital Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Rafie, together with my co-host, I could not get that out properly, together with my awesome co-host in Hong Kong, Mr. Aaron Radcliffe. How are you doing, sir?

Aaron Radcliffe:

You know what, Rafie? It has been a little bit of a stressful week. I think everyone’s feeling it in some capacity, but I’m doing well.

Rafie Edruce:

You’re doing well. That’s good to know.

Aaron Radcliffe:

How about you?

Rafie Edruce:

I feel like I’m carrying the existential dread stress and emotional labor of many of my US-based friends right now in terms of current events. There’s a little thing happening right now. I’m not sure if everybody is aware that there’s this small election going on in this former British colony happening out West and it’s-

Aaron Radcliffe:

I heard nothing about this.

Rafie Edruce:

You haven’t heard anything about it? Well, that’s great because we’re going to talk about it, right?

Aaron Radcliffe:

Oh, crap.

Rafie Edruce:

We’re going to be discussing it. Welcome to today’s episode everybody where we are going to be marketing the U S election, or should we contextualize that further, we’re going to be talking about the marketing of the US Election. Just top of the program notes for everybody that’s listening in, we will not be talking about our personal politics or specific candidate policies and ideologies, right? That is completely off the table. We will be focusing on marketing-related aspects of this election cycle and the numbers that are involved. That’s safe-

Aaron Radcliffe:

The whole point of this is we’re a marketing podcast and we don’t just want to give you guys boring tips on how to increase this in your campaigns. We’ll do stuff like that, but every now and then, it’s nice for us to talk about things that are happening in the world and one thing that we coined with this podcast that we want to look at life through the lens of a marketer. Right now, life has a really important election going on and elections require an enormous amount of marketing. We’ll get into some of the raw numbers a little bit later just in terms of a marketing campaign. This election, as a whole, has just been absolutely fascinating to watch. There’s a lot of things that we can learn as marketers that we can apply to our own marketing campaigns.

Aaron Radcliffe:

We’re not going political with this. We’re just strictly analyzing. I actually wore my analyzing glasses today. These are my fake glasses, but because we’re talking about politics, I wanted to like feel more intelligent and look smarter. How do I look? Do I look smart?

Rafie Edruce:

You look spiffy, my friend.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Nice. Nailed it. Awesome.

Rafie Edruce:

I actually need these glasses. These are not put on. These are actually prescription. It’s not an affectation. Let’s dive into it, but before we’d really do dive into it, I just want to say to all of the new listeners out there that we would love to hear from you, so please make sure to visit our LinkedIn where you can find us at First Page Digital and let us know how we can help you today. Be sure to check out our websites, either at www.firstpagedigital.sg for Singapore or www.firstpage.hk for our Hong Kong team, so that we can find ways to help you supercharge your online business. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive right into at.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Let’s dive.

Rafie Edruce:

Let’s dive. We’ve come up with a format here that should be easy for everybody listening to this to follow. We’re going to talk about first of all the personal branding of each of the candidates, then we’re going to go into the campaign strategy and campaign spending. Then we’re going to conclude by talking about the overall platform or party branding that each of the candidates have aligned themselves with for the US Election 2020 cycle. Let’s start. Let’s kick this off. Aaron, I’m going to let you take the lead on this one. How has Trump defined himself in the eyes of the electorate? How has Biden defined himself in the eyes of the electorate?

Aaron Radcliffe:

Yeah, it’s really interesting. Whether a presidential election or a marketing your own products, there’s an element of personal branding that always goes into this and it’s so crucial because that’s where you make an emotional connection and you get to brand yourself and market yourself in a certain way. Both of these candidates have chosen very specific ways of their choosing to market and to brand themselves. There are ways that are probably pretty obvious, what you think about Trump, his, we’ll say for lack of a better word, strengths and weaknesses and same thing with Biden, his own strengths and weaknesses and they’re playing to their own strengths and weaknesses, maximizing their strengths, minimizing their weaknesses.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Trump, like I said, we’re going to keep our personal opinions out of this, but it’s definitely, I think, undeniable to say that Trump has always marketed himself as strong and decisive. He is the anti-politician. He’s uncorruptible by his own words, but really personal branding with Trump is just really strength, just like determined, just like this, this epitome of strength. I keep using the word strength over and over again, but I think that that’s just at the core of this personal branding. The interesting part is to see Biden who in some ways is not an antithesis to that, but brutally markets himself in a sort of different way, not that Biden would be considered strong necessarily, but by Biden’s [inaudible 00:05:40] an empathetic sort of a perspective, sympathetic.

Aaron Radcliffe:

You see his advertisements where he gets emotional or he’ll get teary eyes and you could just never in a bajillion years imagine Trump having a commercial where he’s retrospectively thinking something that happened in his life before and a single tear rolls down his face. The man’s incapable probably of that. We really have an enormous disparity in their personal branding and it made the campaign very interesting because you have these two candidates who are projecting different things. Trump strong and decisive and Biden, as you put in the notes here, Rafie, which I like as the kind grandfather. What are your thoughts on that?

Rafie Edruce:

I think Trump also, he’s played the personal branding game for so long.

Aaron Radcliffe:

He’s a master of it in so many ways.

Rafie Edruce:

He’s traded in that for the longest time and fair play to him for being able to find some measure of success and notoriety that way. Success to the point that he became president of the United States, right?

Aaron Radcliffe:

It worked.

Rafie Edruce:

He says that he’s a successful businessman and it must be the case because he’s got all of these properties, his name’s everywhere, that kind of thing, right? That’s how he’s managed to reach the American people in the sense that, “This is what success outwardly looks like,” and he defines it that way and he is a success by his very own definition. He’s been so good at contextualizing his achievements on his own terms that very few people can take on those terms and come out on top if they try to have a disagreement with how he positions himself. That to me is masterful. It shows a very, very keen awareness of the importance of very strong and very clear messaging.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Dude, 100%, that was really well said. Say what you want about Trump, but he definitely understands branding and the way that he has branded himself over the years from a Playboy billionaire to the swamp cleaner president, so there’s been that sense of unapologeticness to him, of excess of, “I’m right and there’s no other options out there.” For many people, that’s a representation of strength in a lot of ways and that’s been his branding and he’s stuck to it. It’s been interesting to see his campaign, but also on the antithesis with Biden, the kind grandfather.

Rafie Edruce:

That’s the thing about Biden though. I suppose his brand is a nurturing masculinity type, where he’s not getting caught up in whether or not he’s a nurturing figure, he says and he shows that he’s a nurturing figure, right? He’s meant to be this center of … He positions himself as an avatar of healing, as the conscience of the country, so to speak. That’s what he has positioned himself, as you. I guess we’ll see whether it works or not, depending on the results, right?

Aaron Radcliffe:

Time will tell. It should be worth noting actually. As of recording this, the election results are still up in the air. We actually do not know who has won yet. It adds an interesting element into our discussion because we don’t know who won, so it’s actually even more interesting to analyze their different marketing strategies.

Rafie Edruce:

In Biden’s case, in the earlier parts of his campaign, you could say that there was a bit of confusion as to, “Who is Joe Biden and what does he stand for?” because the early candidates had very strong branding as well. When you talked about Elizabeth Warren and her catchphrase, “I have a plan for that,” you talked about Bernie Sanders and saying that … Bernie Sanders was a very out and proud socialist Democrat, right? He labeled himself that and he was very clear about his branding and messaging. Joe was not really sure about how he positioned himself. He’s a centrist, he’s a moderate, yes, but does he have the force of personality to become a strong candidate?

Rafie Edruce:

Ultimately, I feel like he has defined his personal branding as, like you said, basically the antithesis of Donald Trump and that seems to be strong enough to make it a very competitive contest across the board.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Dude, definitely. It’s interesting to see as marketers too just like Trump’s style versus Biden’s style. Sometimes a Trump sort of message where you are going strong, going very, very, very to your core and trying to speak to them and to energize them, sometimes that can be very effective for a product or a campaign. Sometimes though a more broad message, just trying to go straight down the middle, appeal to as many people as possible can also be effective. There’s things to learn on both sides of the campaign. We should probably use that then to segment to our next campaign strategies.

Rafie Edruce:

That’s a great segue actually because then we’re going to talk about … I think one last word on the personal branding because I think we do encounter brands that talk about how they need to shout or they need to constantly beat their target markets over the head with who they are and what they are, right? Sometimes it works. Sometimes people just need to be constantly reminded of what a brand strength is and that’s like what Trump does, consistent messaging all the time and is always very loud. You cannot ignore Donald Trump. You will always hear what his message is versus Joe is a bit more laid back, a bit more, not to say subtle because you can’t be subtle in a presidential election, but a bit more reserved or a bit quieter in that sense.

Aaron Radcliffe:

He was definitely trying to be lower key. I think a lot of the strategy for the Biden campaign was to let Trump bury himself. I’m sure they were just like, “Let him talk.” That’s what they were hoping would happen and they just stay in the background a little bit. I think they took a less is more approach at least when it came to like public speaking and like doing interviews and stuff like that, as opposed to Trump who was just like, “In your face, in your face. I am here. This is my brand,” so really two very different strategies there.

Rafie Edruce:

That’s a segue into our second segment, campaign strategy. You’ve kicked that off already, Aaron, talking about how … You mentioned earlier about the different kinds of messaging and the different kinds of targeted messaging that they had. You want to dive into that?

Aaron Radcliffe:

Yeah, man. Well, specifically let’s just talk about great branding is really about making that emotional connection and Trump’s campaign really hit the nail on the head, I think, with in terms of trying to get their base excited and making that emotional connection. I think that there wasn’t a broader strategy with Trump. I think it was just getting his base amped up, so they would go to the polls and they would vote. It’s really about energizing his fans and really anything extra was a bonus. You can see it with their slogans. For instance, in the election versus Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump’s iconic slogan, “Make America great again,” right? MAGA, it just rolls off the tongue, nicely, phenomenal branding on their part with that.

Aaron Radcliffe:

This election was quite interesting because they actually tried to change to “Keep America great” and then I found this out that the Biden campaign found out that keepamericagreat.com domain was actually available and they bought it, so the Biden campaign owned keepamericagreat.com, so then Trump was furious and also “Keep America great” Isn’t quite as exciting as MAGA. The whole MAGA, that’s the base likes no. Trump, for a few reasons, decided to leave “Keep America great” and then he went back to MAGA, “Make America great again” because that’s the base likes. That’s the consistency of branding right there. I thought that was a really interesting situation.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Another interesting thing that I was reading about the actual campaigns is, well, in any political campaign, it’s negative ads do very well. Painting your opponent in a negative perspective is very efficient when it comes to political advertisements, but how negative the ads are, I think, is quite interesting. According to, I think it was CNBC, they did an evaluation of all of Trump’s television ads and he had an extremely high negative-to-positive ratio as to where over 80% of his ads were actually more based on attacks and had a more negative tone as opposed to Biden who still had a majority negative ads, but they were 60%.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Yet again, you’re seeing this disparity between the two campaigns, between Trump really just going for those emotions, going hard, because Trump, he’s a bull, dude. He’s just attack, attack, attack, right? He stuck with that branding and that was the campaign strategy was just to go really hard in the paint as we say in the States.

Rafie Edruce:

If Trump was a basketball player, he’d be seven foot seven and he’d just be really posting up all the time. He’d be doing the Shaq thing. That’s he’d be doing.

Aaron Radcliffe:

I was just thinking the same thing. He’d be Shaq, just bullying people in the paint, talking smack the whole time. Trump is Shaq.

Rafie Edruce:

I guess, when we look at Biden, the interesting thing that I saw … I’m not American. I’m an emotionally invested third-party observer in this case, right? I did get a lot of the Biden messaging coming through from my friends who are ardent Biden supporters. To me, Biden was trying to build a coalition. He was trying to be broader in his messaging. He was trying to reach more people rather than just targeting, say, the traditional Democrat base, whoever that Democrat base is and actually trying to reach across cultural and ideological lines to try and have far broader, I hesitate to use the word generic, but slightly less targeted language in his messaging when it came to-

Aaron Radcliffe:

Yeah, definitely, dude. It’s like what we’re saying earlier where the Trump campaign was a little bit more narrow and very aggressive. Biden’s campaign was a little more broad. It was a little more middle of the road. They weren’t trying to fire anybody up really, in comparison to the Trump campaign, but in essence, they were trying to appeal to a broader audience. I think that they were trying to market themselves as an alternative to Trump. It’s like, “Hey, if you are sick and tired of what’s been happening in the past four years with the aggressive insanity that is the Trump campaign, which Trump’s personality, I can offer you a more calm and tranquil experience in contrast to that.

Aaron Radcliffe:

That was sort of their strategy, that was their messaging because he didn’t talk a lot about policy. It’s like what you said, you knew where Elizabeth Warren was going, you know where Bernie Sanders was going. Those are two very policy-driven politicians. I don’t think Trump is a very policy-driven politician. I think he’s an emotional politician and a great marketer, but he did talk a lot about policy on the campaign, not as much as an Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders would have necessarily, but there was definitely talk about policy as to where Biden kept the policy stuff like, “We’ll talk about policy later. Let’s just get Trump out of office first.” It was really crossing those ideological lines, as you said, but in a way it’s a calmer alternative to Trump and a more narrow, a broader appeal.

Rafie Edruce:

Let me throw a little bit of a cat amongst the pigeons here. Could you then make the argument, could we then make the argument or the inference that Biden’s approach to this time was a response to the way that Hillary Clinton’s messaging was rejected four years ago, because as we know, Clinton was also super heavy on policy. She wasn’t necessarily a strong character or a strong personality herself, right? She did campaign a lot in policy before. Could this have then been the Democrats learning those lessons from four years ago saying-

Aaron Radcliffe:

Dude, that’s actually a really good observation and I hadn’t actually considered that, but I definitely think that, yeah, that’s a really good observation.

Rafie Edruce:

Because I feel like Clinton was always a bit like Elizabeth Warren Lite or Diet Elizabeth Warren in the sense that, yeah, she had a plan for everything and she had all of these like great policy ideas and whatnot that, well, may be great for her or she brands them great policy ideas at the time, but then, it just didn’t reach the base that Trump managed to energize with his far more emotional outreach, right? I feel like that was a telling factor four years ago and it might be a factor this time round where Biden is like, “Yes, we understand the pain that you’re coming from,” and that’s what his campaign is about like telling people, “We’re an alternative. Yes, we understand emotionally where everybody’s coming from, but we don’t have to react in the same way that Donald Trump’s campaign is reacting.”

Aaron Radcliffe:

Sure. Also, another thing that has made me think of is Hillary’s campaign I think would be a little bit more on the left and Biden’s was a little bit more centrist. I think that also it works to their favor as well because the further left Hillary pushed, the further it pushed people to the right sometimes. I think different election cycles, sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I think the Biden campaign just saw that and they were like, “We don’t want to push people to the right. The more center we stay, the more votes that we can attract.”

Rafie Edruce:

For me, I think they were worried in that sense that the messaging for them, it really needed to appeal much broader than it did before. I think we can make the argument that America as a market is changing, it’s evolving all the time, right? Perhaps, the messaging and the targeting that the Clinton campaign tried to carry out four years ago just didn’t reflect the reality that they thought they saw with their data which is also a good lesson for us because we need to always remind ourselves that data doesn’t tell us everything.

Aaron Radcliffe:

100%, dude, 100%.

Rafie Edruce:

Right, and speaking of data, see the segue there.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Nicely done. You’re good at this.

Rafie Edruce:

Oh, man. Angel of Words, right? Was that the Angel of Optimism, wordsmith, I think that’s my nickname. Where were we? Where we talk about data, I believe you have some very interesting pieces of data to share with us regarding money.

Aaron Radcliffe:

We’re moving into the next chapter of this episode which is the spending strategy which as marketers really interesting to us. Obviously, the words that you use and the branding strategies that you use are crucial, but where are you putting the money? That’s what you’re talking about, Jerry McGuire last week, “Show me the money,” right?

Rafie Edruce:

“Show me the money.”

Aaron Radcliffe:

Let’s talk money because wow, there was a lot of money in this election. Actually, according to [inaudible 00:22:04] that I was reading by CNBC that this election doubled last election, now this includes the presidential and the senate and congressional races, all things combined to hit nearly $14 billion, that’s billion with a B, in spending from May until October and that doubles, oh, my God, more than double. In 2016, it was about $5 billion, so almost triples the amount of spending. A lot of money went into this stuff, a lot, a lot of money.

Rafie Edruce:

Good Lord.

Aaron Radcliffe:

It’s interesting to see what each campaign spent their money, because as digital marketers, we’re obviously very prone to being very internet savvy. We think that things like Google ads and Facebook are the most important things, but it’s interesting because there’s also other forms of advertising. There’s TV ads, Rafie. I forget about TV ads sometimes now that I have Netflix, but these things-

Rafie Edruce:

What’s a TV?

Aaron Radcliffe:

Well, back in the day now … It’s really interesting to see how the breakdown actually happened. Let’s see, just looking at my notes right here actually. I got my notebook right here. The Republicans from April until now spent $135 million combined on Facebook and Google advertisements versus the Democrats who spent a $100 million. Quite interesting there. The Republicans actually were more digital marketing savvy than the Biden campaign was or at least they chose to pour their resources into digital marketing. I think it’s actually quite interesting.

Aaron Radcliffe:

It does make sense because last week you had talked about social dilemma and how a lot of political advertisements are going on there and the Trump campaign definitely benefited from social media advertising in the previous selection, and really based on what I’ve read and stuff, it seems like their campaign just has a better understanding of how to utilize social media platforms and digital marketing as a whole. It makes sense that they put more of their money into that. What are your thoughts?

Rafie Edruce:

Which is a neat reversal actually because Obama, when he got elected, was built on the back of a very social media-energized movement, right?

Aaron Radcliffe:

Absolutely.

Rafie Edruce:

The Obama team definitely knew how to handle social media, especially with Barack Obama’s background as a community organizer, how they manage to leverage that far better than the McCain campaign or the Romney campaign did in 2008 and 2012. Now we have a reversal of how the Republicans are understanding the algorithm a little bit better and knowing where to put their spend versus the Democrats.

Aaron Radcliffe:

It seems like they just are more invested in it. They’re hiring smarter people. You can see this throughout the entire Trump campaign with the Cambridge Analytica situation. They definitely understand the power of digital marketing, especially on a granular level to really speak to people individually and emotionally. Quite interesting to see the spend differential there, but as to where Republicans spent $135 million on digital marketing versus Democrats’ $100 million, Democrats spent $600 million on television ads versus the Republicans’ $400 million.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Pretty consistent, Democrats did a little bit more of a traditional campaign. They did some digital marketing, but not as much as the Republicans and they stuck to almost 50% increase on the amount of money that the Republicans spent on television ads. Really interesting to see what they did there, but also you could see how that makes sense in a lot of ways with the broad approach versus Trump’s more granular approach and more narrow and emotional approach. Biden’s just blasting television ads all across the state like, “Hey, I’m middle of the road. Vote for me. I’m not Trump. Vote for me,” as where Trump is getting people a little bit more energized, utilizing digital media platforms to his advantage. It’s really interesting to see that difference.

Rafie Edruce:

I think also because a lot of times when it comes to social media, people that already follow you, it’s easier to reach them on social because they’re following your page and whatnot than the cost per impression, I think, is that the right … What’s the right metric to use here, cost per-

Aaron Radcliffe:

That was correct.

Rafie Edruce:

Cost per impression would be much lower. A dollar that you spend on social probably goes a lot further than a dollar that you would spend on TV, but then that-

Aaron Radcliffe:

I would think so, yeah, but we can’t underestimate the value of a television ad. It still reaches mass amounts of people. It’s still advertising. Advertising is effective in most shapes and forms. Is it as effective as digital marketing? Who knows? Time will tell. If the Trump ends up winning in maybe their digital marketing savviness could be a reason for that happening.

Rafie Edruce:

Also, because Biden was trying to win back the older demographic which abandoned Clinton in 2016 as well, like, the over 45 demographic voted overwhelmingly for Trump in a lot of the key battleground states in 2016. I suppose that was the avenue for him to try and win them back by targeting a channel specific to this particular segment that he knew that they would have eyeballs on. I guess that also played into it.

Aaron Radcliffe:

It does and it’s interesting too, I was listening to a podcast this morning and it was explaining Trump [inaudible 00:27:43] those campaigns going so microscopic and granular, but even Trump is up this year, this election, compared to previous election with minority voters, it was a 4% increase Latinos and 6% increase for African American voters. Actually it looks at the Trump campaign really tried to do more granular marketing towards minorities where he underperformed last election and he actually did much better with this election particularly in Florida. I think there were 50% of Cuban-Americans actually ended up voting for Trump. That was a big turnaround from last time.

Rafie Edruce:

Speaking of turnarounds, actually, I think you mentioned something about Arizona, which is essentially flipped from what I understand.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Essentially flipped and it’s really interesting too because Arizona traditionally a red state, not even close to being purple, but these things obviously change over time, but looking at a map right now of the weekly spending on TV ads for Trump and Biden and it’s just Arizona is the biggest in all of them. They knew that Arizona was a battleground state this year which is really interesting because the surrounding states, nothing in New Mexico, nothing in Utah. They knew which way those states were going. It seems like they had intel. They knew that Arizona could flip either way. I believe Arizona went Democrat this year, right?

Rafie Edruce:

At the time, they were talking about this. Biden is leading with about 86% of the votes counted.

Aaron Radcliffe:

We’re not sure who wins Arizona, but looking at the data they put, let’s see judging by this, it looks like over $10 million a week into Arizona TV ads, but it’s interesting because the Biden campaign outspent the Trump campaign in Arizona and it seemed to work. Hey, you shove enough ads down people’s throats and sometimes it can have an effect. What’s interesting too is even talking about the whole granular is I read a different article where in this last week, the Biden campaign was running 13, I’m sorry, 38, I don’t know why I confused 13 and 38, 38 different ads in Pennsylvania that are specifically targeted for different demographic demographics.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Talk about marketing on a very granular level, on a very personal level. They’re doing ads, not based state by state, but counties within states by states, so just really getting super specific with their targeting. I’m sure they were doing that with digital marketing as well. Obviously, we have the ability to do that as digital marketers. That’s the things that we do on campaigns with First Page that we can get for our clients and that’s what modern marketing allows us to do with these platforms with all the good and bad that’s with them is that you can get so specific for the type of person that you want to advertise to.

Rafie Edruce:

It’s great having all the data. Now, what do you do with it, right?

Aaron Radcliffe:

Exactly.

Rafie Edruce:

Oh, man. Then looking at all that money that they spend on all of these ads, targeting people and trying to make sure that their messages get across and making sure that they reached the right people that these messages need to reach, that’s a very important point right there. That then leads us onto our next segue, right? What is the messaging? What is the core of what these parties represent? What is their party branding, right? How do we see, as marketers, how these people brand themselves as in the Republicans and the Democrats? Aaron, are you there?

Aaron Radcliffe:

I lost you for a second, Rafie.

Rafie Edruce:

My question to you is that, how do you see, because we talked about the messaging, right? For example, in Arizona they’ve been targeting so specific in terms of by county or even by borough, by district. What actually is the message or the brand that these parties have for themselves, the Republicans and the Democrats?

Aaron Radcliffe:

It’s really interesting because we think that the Democrats and the Republicans have or all political parties have consistent messaging, but there’s actually a lot of fluctuation and political ideas evolve and parties evolve as well, especially in American history. The Republicans and Democrats have flipped on certain issues over the years. It’s interesting to see it as a marketer that you actually don’t need that consistency, that you can pivot with the times. If your core audience wants something now, but then that changes later, you can pivot with them. That’s quite interesting, but the Republicans have always been on par with their marketing and their branding of the party of personal responsibility, right? It’s, small government. It’s communities. It’s family. It’s personal responsibility. That’s the core of the Republican Party.

Rafie Edruce:

It’s an easy to remember tagline, isn’t it? “The party of personal responsibility.”

Aaron Radcliffe:

You nailed it, dude. That’s really exactly what it is if you want to summarize the Republican Party goes, [inaudible 00:33:08] say, “The party of personal responsibility,” because that does really encompass or encapsulate just the whole thing of what Republicans are about. That’s it right there, but it’s interesting with the Democrats, they’ve got a little bit more of a challenge in terms of their branding because they don’t really have that tagline. Rafie, if I asked you to come up with a tagline for the Democrats, five words or less? It’s tough, right?

Rafie Edruce:

Yeah, because there’s so many elements in the Democratic Party. You could identify them by faction, I suppose. You have like the centrists, the moderates, then you have the Democrat socialists, then you have the progressives, then you have the far left. It’s a bit … Let’s use a nice word. Let’s say it’s super diverse, various-

Aaron Radcliffe:

It’s one way to look at it. It definitely is. I was trying to do this myself earlier. I was like, “Come up with a tagline for the Democratic Party.” I think forward thinking could encapsulate their ideas and their beliefs, but at the end of the day, we’re having a hard time with it. That’s the interesting part about the marketing between the Republicans and the Democrats or more traditionals or more conservative people and more progressive people is that, especially in American politics, the Republican Party is always seen as more unified than the Democratic Party. The Republican Party is always seen as a cohesive unit. Now they’re not really a cohesive unit, they just understand the power of the being a cohesive unit.

Rafie Edruce:

The perception now is being a cohesive unit, the power of perception.

Aaron Radcliffe:

The perception is power. Look back in 2016, Trump was running against Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Trump was calling, what, Lion’s Head and Little Marco or Little Rubio or something and he was talking crap about their wives and their looks and just being a crappy person to them. While they were campaigning against each other, Rubio and Cruz were like, “F this guy,” but once they lost, they endorsed Trump and they are Trump fan boys through and through at this point because the party definitely has a sense of unity in it, as opposed to the Democrats though, where like you said, Rafie, there’s different factions. You have the centrist/moderates, but then you have more the far left side and the Democratic Party is split into two in a lot of ways and this creates a lot of confusion with the Democratic Party, “What is the branding? What is the message?”

Aaron Radcliffe:

Republicans never have this problem. That’s interesting and that’s definitely probably helped Republicans through the years and this just takeaways for that is that consistency of messaging is really important. If your message is blurred, if your ending isn’t concise, it can be confusing.

Rafie Edruce:

Definitely. I think we’ve gotten to the point where we’re 30 minutes into this and it’s taken this long to even define what being a Democrat is or what the Democratic Party is supposed to be, right? Like you said, it really does suggest that they do have a branding problem or a consistent branding problem. They’re not consistent in who they are.

Aaron Radcliffe:

It reminds me of … Have you ever seen the film, The Ides of March?

Rafie Edruce:

No, I have not. No, I have not. No.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Dude, that is crazy. You’re like the biggest cinephile that I know. You love movies. Let me pitch it for you. Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman. First of all, do I need to say anymore? Political thriller. It’s unbelievable. George Clooney is running for president on the Democrat side and Philip Seymour Hoffman is his campaign strategists. Ryan Gosling is the vice campaign strategist or the vice president. He works under Philip Seymour Hoffman and Phillip Seymour Hoffman pulls Ryan Gosling into the room at one point. They’re Democrats. He’s like, “What you have to understand is that we need to think more like the Republicans. They’re more unified. We are always on the stage and this is our problem as a party.”

Aaron Radcliffe:

I think that they nailed it. That’s the epitome of what’s happening over the Democrats is that they’re a little all over the place and that can be a little confusing, I think, for voters. Are they far left? Are they centrist? They’re definitely pulling in some votes and it’s a close election, but maybe a little bit more consistency and clarity of message could help them out. I don’t want to act like I’m giving campaign advice to the Bidens, but I just gave campaign advice to the Bidens, “Clear your message.”

Rafie Edruce:

I think we can also sum it up. I’ve had to think about this and I suppose the best way to put these parties against each other to define their positioning is to say, it’s collectivism versus individualism. I think that’s a neat way of just summing it all up, what they are about.

Aaron Radcliffe:

I like that. I like that a lot. Collectivism being more socialist-based programs. We’ll say social, not socialist, social-based programs, more of a collection of people versus individualism which is more of the Republican side of things, more conservative thinking, more individual responsibility. I like that.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Dude, we did a good job. We just did a 30 minute political podcasts without anybody screaming at each other. I don’t even know if people could tell our political biases based on this podcast. Comment below if you can guess. Comment below if you can guess which way Rafie and I swing with our politics.

Rafie Edruce:

Well, that’s the dream, isn’t it? To be able to talk about politics and not reveal your political affiliations.

Aaron Radcliffe:

I agree. I agree.

Rafie Edruce:

All right, Aaron, my friend, thank you so much for spending some time-

Aaron Radcliffe:

Dude, an absolute pleasure. This was a blast. I cannot wait to chat again with you next week.

Rafie Edruce:

For sure, and for those of you that are listening, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to tune in to this episode of Not Another Digital Marketing Podcast. Be sure to check us out on LinkedIn, check us out on our web pages at www.firstpagedigital.sg or firstpage.hk, right? I’m Rafie. He’s Aaron Radcliffe. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, and we’ll see you in the next one.

Aaron Radcliffe:

Peace.