Many conservatives took President Obama to task because he saluted some US troops with a cup of coffee –which somehow became a latte–in his hand. No matter that George W. Bush did his own “disrespectful” version. No matter that non-military personnel don’t typically salute men and women in uniform. No matter that there are, by my quick count, at least seven million more important things going on in the world.
NASCAR has an official blood thinner. Really. I guess watching cars go around in circles for a few hours makes your blood thick. I’m not sure, I’m not really a fan.
You may have seen the ads by Brookdale, a retirement home operator, wherein they tout “your senior living solution.” Apparently “place to unload Mom without too much guilt” didn’t test well.
I’m aware that these examples may only seem related to the extent that they are easy to poke fun at. But I think it goes deeper.
In each case, much is revealed about what the proponents value and how they are seen in the world.
Those that obsess over any Obama mis-step don’t care to be fair and balanced. Anything that fits their desired narrative is fair game, no matter how trivial.
NASCAR’s willingness to take on completely random sponsorships and ordain them with “official” status tells us all we need to know about their driving–pun totally intended–motivation.
Brookdale’s euphemism laced marketing strategy doesn’t connect directly. It’s more important to talk around the heart of the matter than to attempt to engage authentically.
I have no doubt that all three of these strategies are highly effective at some level.
Just know that when objectivity, substance and authenticity take a back seat to other, shall we say less than noble goals, the chances that folks start tuning out goes way, way up.
In the ever more difficult battle for share of attention, that may not be a risk worth taking.