mnot’s blog

Design depends largely on constraints.” — Charles Eames

Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Singing the Brief

I’m so sick of watching presidential candidates confidently telling news anchors that they’re doing well in the race, and explaining how well their ideas are going across.

Where are the ideas? Instead of telling me why I should vote for them, the current crop’s strategy seems to be to convince me that everybody else is voting for them.

In advertising, this is known as singing the brief; rather than doing the hard work of convincing me that a product is appealing (for example), the ad just says “this product is appealing.”

It’s easy to create this kind of media, and the client (in this case, candidate) loves it, because it reinforces their perceptions of themselves. It’s also utterly, utterly useless; it doesn’t do the job of getting the message to the audience. Rather than giving us reasons to vote for the candidates, the candidates and the press are taking the easy route; they’re just talking about a horse race.

Is this the logical outcome of democracy and a free press?


RichB said:

Other countries have a free press and give their politicians a grilling whenever they appear. It seems odd that the US press are so feeble.

Wednesday, February 4 2004 at 11:57 AM

Mike said:

I don’t think this is the logical outcome of democracy and free press - you are pointing it out (free press) and other are free to do something about it (democracy). Getting people to actually /do/ something is the hard part - ‘ActiveDemocracy’ isn’t easy (tm).

Saturday, February 14 2004 at 7:35 AM