Marketing the Left and the Right

As a long-time student of the marketing craft, it is interesting for me to look at politics sometimes as a marketplace of ideas, and running for office as a marketing activity.  Though I don't want to overplay the notion of packaging over content in politics, you can find a number of historical examples where good communication helped turn the ideological tide. 

Also, being a libertarian sometimes gives me the ability to sit on the sidelines and see the left-right struggles in this country from the outside, possibly with a bit of perspective, since my team isn't really even on the field.

From this perspective, conservatives have really been running up the score on liberals of late.  This is an outcome I cheer when it leads to freer markets and lament when it leads to broadcast censorship.

A lot of ink and electrons have been used up of late trying to diagnose the reason for this success and what the Left can do to even the score.  Rather than comment on this, I will offer the following as a marketing case study.  Forget whether you agree with everything that is said, but think of each piece as marketing for the left or the right.  I was struck by the contrast of these two articles in part because they came from the same publication, and in part because they touch on many similar themes but in totally different ways:

Which product is more compelling to the average American?  Of course, neither can represent the diversity of either side of the spectrum, but through all the political noise in this country, I think each represents the tone and message that is actually filtering through to voters.  If one side want to claim "but that's not fair... that's not the message we intended for voters to hear" --- well, welcome to marketing. 

By the way, I wrote a piece based on Mr. Morford's here.