Thursday, July 16, 2009


I may not agree with all of Obama's policies, but I do recognize that he is doing a great job marketing them.

I recently read Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition by Jack Trout. Jack Trout explains that one way to differentiate is to point out your competitor's weaknesses and position yourself as the better alternative. And this is exactly what Obama is doing to pass the health care reform bill.

Two simple phrases have become the slogans to push his campaign forward and have backed Republicans into a corner that they aren't sure how to get out of.

"We must act now" and "We can't do nothing." More than defining his own position, these statements define the position of all of his competition in the minds of the public. If Obama is FOR taking action, anyone opposing him MUST be AGAINST taking action. And if Obama is FOR doing something than anyone opposing him must be AGAINST doing something and therefore FOR doing nothing.

In the human mind, only one Brand in a given category can own a specific position at a given time. There can only be one first man on the moon, one "King Of POP", one original, and in this case, only one Brand OWNS doing something.

Its not that Republicans want to do nothing. They want to solve the problem too. But since they are fighting against the Brand(Obama) who OWNS doing something, it appears in the minds of the public, that Republicans OWN doing nothing.

People don't see all of the other things that they should be thinking about with this big decision(expense, the future of our Country). All they see is "We have to do something". Which makes it possible for Obama to pass anything he wants because anything is better than doing nothing.

So how do Republicans fight back. It will do no good for them to try and fight the "We Can't Do Nothing" battle. They already lost that. They have to fight on another front. How about a Trillion Dollar front?

I would attack the price tag for the Health Care Bill, but not the way they are currently doing it. Republicans have been sure to let us know that the Bill is going to cost us a Trillion dollars, but what does that really mean?

Saying a Trillion doesn't really have any impact on the mind. Sure we know its big, but we have never seen that much money, so we can't grasp how big it is. All we know is that its more than a Billion which is more than a Million.

They need to find a way to have it register in the minds of the people how big a Trillion dollars really is.

Via an email from my Dad I received a powerpoint called Whats a Trillion that illustrates just how big a trillion dollars is. I am not sure who authored it, but who ever did, great job. Here are a few slides from the presentation. I can't guarantee how accurate it is, but it gets the point across.




$1,000,000,000,000 (The Death Blow)

I don't think anyone can look at that picture without thinking about how much money that is and without thinking about the repercussions of what is about to happen.

These pictures are great, but I would take it to another level. If the Republicans want to win this battle, they need to make these pictures real life and make a spectacle of it. Hire a bunch of semi trucks loaded with pallets stacked with money( or fake money, cause no one has a Trillion to do this with). Alert the press so all of the cameras, helicopters over head and reporters are there. Have the semi trucks pull up in front of the white house and with fork lifts, start unloading the pallets of money. Have it shut down traffic and stop everyone in their tracks. That would make people realize how much this is going to cost and will shut down the "We can't do nothing" Campaign.


Chelan said...

An excellent idea!'d have to trick the press into being there because if they knew it had anything to do with opposing Obama they wouldn't show up. Maybe if someone just pulled in a truck and started unloading people would get curious and that would attract the media without actually calling them in.

Ben Wilkinson said...

First, let me a state that I'm a big supporter of BO. However, he and the Dems have done a horrible job at selling/marketing their version of Health Care Reform.

They've been using vague terms like 'Single Payer System' or 'Public Option'. Nobody knows what this means. On top of that, it creates bad connotations to how European works.

Instead of using those vague terms, I would have used something like 'Medicare For All'. Regardless of what you think, EVERYBODY here knows what medicare is and how it pays for their health problems.

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