No Promises…

I don’t care much for politics  –  but the marketing always fascinates me.

It’s coming up to the final straight in the latest national elections. And as always the mudslinging is reaching fever-pitch. Now, we all know the reason for this is simply a lack of serious commitment to anything susbtantial on the part of any of the parties political.

Don’t believe me?

Let’s take a look at some of the campaign positions (aka brand promises) out there:

“ANC: Together we can do more.” What is “more”? And how do we calculate “more”? And after 15 years in power, what couldn’t you do that you can only do more of together? And am I the only one who finds it more than strange that shortly after the laws regarding television advertising of party political statements, the ANC just happened to have one ready-to-flight on standby? It’s probably just coincidence.

“DA: Vote to Win.” Another nebulous statement (along with “Building an open opportunity society for all” & “One nation. One future”).  Win what exactly? Why should they win? How does that benefit anyone other than the DA? ASIDE:  besides Helen Zille, the DA campaign posters (5 in total) also feature head-shots of 3 other people whom I’ve never heard of (and to the guy with the flavour-saver beard thingy: dude, you missed a spot. Seriously) without any names or info. Who are these people?

“UDM: Now is the time for all South Africans.” To do what exactly? If they can’t finish a thought, how can they be trusted to finish anything else they’ve been tasked with? 2 seconds of my life gone forever.  PS: Bantu Holmisa, if you’re reading this just a heads-up. Frames went out with horn-rimmed spectacles, buddy. Your official website needs an overhaul. Also, with less than a month to Election Day, your Campaign Site is still under construction – FAIL!


I refuse to insult your intelligence with any of the other political parties, so we’ll move right along…

The problem with all of these statements is that they don’t speak of anything that can be measured or experienced. Essentially, they’re cop-outs:  “Let’s not promise our constituents anything that we can’t back out of later, should things go pear-shaped.” Those nutty politicians. God forbid, they should actually do something…

In contrast, there’s Barack Obama’s “CHANGE” campaign. Change can be experienced, it can be seen, it can be measured and it takes an incredibly large pair of stainless steel balls to make that promise. This man has essentially set the bar for his political career, the benchmark against which his term in office will be measured… And if you think “CHANGE” is nebulous, you clearly weren’t here before 1994.

Political campaigning is all about marketing and right now, none of the current brand promises appeal to me… They seem haphazard and thin.  And that’s sad, because it’s a missed opportunity to achieve something real, something sincere… Whoops. Forgot for a second, I was talking about politicians and isn’t this where I came in?

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have no political affiliations. In all likelihood, I’ll be on the beach on 22 April 2009. Come say hi and I’ll buy you an ice-cream.


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