The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management: PMGT 6460 Audience Research–New & Improved: Comparative Analysis By: Alexander Gomez

The overall American preoccupation with newer consumer goods can readily be transposed to political, economic, and ideological ideas.  From electronics to even new forms of religion, I believe western philosophical thought is fundamentally geared towards newer concepts.  It allows for the transition of traditionalist views into more progressive understandings by refreshing the overall landscape of political thought.

It is the result of a carefully cultivated sociological disposition that dates back to the founding of the country, where new political systems that evolved from previously traditional ones allowed for the gradual implementation of what could be deemed “newer” ideas.  It is tied with such historical concepts of manifest destiny, globalization, and even climate change, where preservation and foresight itself becomes a new idea meant to deter from cataclysmic consequences.

The major difference between marketing products and candidates is, with the latter, the malleability of political ideologies in direct reference to the constituents who vote, and ultimately buy into, the candidate for office.  A product has a particular use.  Most likely, it’s use is clearly stated or understood.  A car is used for transportation, a blender to make drinks, and cell phone to make calls, etc.  What is a politician’s use?  Some may answer it is to ensure the safety of their constituents, other may suggest they are meant to tow the party line, and other’s feel some politician’s have the ability to become mavericks or change society for the better.   The truth is all of these concepts apply and that is why politicians, unlike products, can be difficult to ascertain in terms of what their true uses are.  Especially with the importance of re-elections, campaign finance, budget analysis, and overall polling, many politician’s make it a point to change or reform their own political platform to suit the needs of re-election, their voting public, or the needs of their states.

When it comes to political campaigning, and especially political ads, it’s easy to see how consumerism plays a role in the viability of a candidate.  Many candidate’s themselves actually get funded by huge multinational corporations who may endorse the candidate.  Political slogans have become very accurate in ensuring the success of a candidate in much the same way that consumer advertiser’s create slogans for the success of their products.  Oftentimes, name recognition becomes synonymous with such a slogan and allows for a more direct understanding of a candidate’s platform.

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