How President Trump’s Covid-19 Analysis Will Form Marketing campaign Messaging as Election Day Nears
President Donald Trump is back at the White House, planning to campaign again soon, and intends to attend the second presidential debate next Thursday, two weeks after he was diagnosed with Covid-19.
The president’s diagnosis and how Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign continues to respond to it will shape the final 27 days of the 2020 campaign, marketing experts told Adweek.
The two contestants, perhaps the top brands of 2020, have the same tricky questions this year as other big advertisers: When do you pause a campaign? What is a brand safe environment? And what do you say when the news cycle (and critical health advice) changes so quickly?
Both candidates’ spending fluctuated immediately after Trump shared his diagnosis on Twitter early Friday, but in a similar pattern to the week before.
The Biden campaign jumped from $ 3.9 million for television on Friday to $ 1.9 million on Saturday, before climbing again to $ 4.2 million on Sunday – similar to spending on the Last week according to information from Advertising Analytics.
The Trump campaign spent $ 2.4 million on television on Friday and $ 1.2 million on Saturday and Sunday – again in line with its allocation the week before.
On digital ads, both campaigns cut their spend last Wednesday as both candidates received a lot of deserved media following Tuesday night’s debate which was followed by an estimated 73 million people. Digital spending increased on Friday for the Trump campaign and Saturday for the Biden campaign.
Biden’s campaign has focused his social media spending on casting the vote. Experts Adweek spoke to said the campaign needs to be more specific.
“Marketing strategists in other industries know that there is no time to speak emotionally and that every call to action should come with a why,” said Anjelica Triola, director of marketing at the forward thinking consultancy Wethos. “You are still missing these basic principles of good advertising.”
The Trump campaign invested heavily in social channels over the past week, spending $ 488,000 on Facebook on Friday before almost tripling to $ 1.3 million on Sunday, according to the social media giant.
In the days ahead, the Trump campaign will likely focus on reaching out to suburban and college-educated women who are leaning toward Biden, according to recent polls, said David Schweidel, a marketing professor at Emory University.
Biden should be careful with his messages, said Schweidel, maintaining a positive tone. In fact, Biden’s campaign on Saturday said negative ads would be put on hold while the president was sick.
“Biden’s message of unity may be well received right now – not just in terms of getting us all beyond the current pandemic, but also in terms of racial relations, the economy and the Supreme Court,” he added.
“My plea for the Biden campaign: have a bold, clear position,” said Triola. “Tell us what you stand for. Make it short, concise, powerful. Brave. Instead of just asking us to vote on why Trump is bad, give us something exciting to vote on. “
Trump can talk about a very specific experience that Biden cannot have: “He could spin in the spirit of acknowledging the virus. And the suffering associated with it could generate a lot of sympathy, ”said Alixandra Barasch, Assistant Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern.
Mark Lieberman, President and CEO of Viamedia, added that Trump’s “most effective message is to address Covid and his newfound personal understanding of the disease”.
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