If only journalists and comedians understood marketing and branding they could be dangerous.
Why, because they both theoretically satisfy needs — journalists our requirement for objective perspective. Comedians for necessary laughter.
But from a practical perspective, this has been further from the truth, since President Trump took his oath of office.
Both journalist and comedians have forgotten their respective brands by taking political positions that attract a targeted market — rather than speaking to the larger whole.
From a marketing perspective, it’s not good business because it sets a ceiling to how many customer’s (readers or audience) who will purchase their respective services and more importantly not satisfying the need that the majority desire.
It’s been said, in polite society, one should keep their political opinions to themselves or at least present both sides of the argument when making statements of the explosive kind!
So why would one eschew this insightful adage when it comes to making a living, losing market share — or even worse destroying their brand?
Marketing and branding drives all business, yes even journalism and comedy. If your audience constricts this is a dangerous zone to enter. With that said, one should proceed cautiously before irreversible damage is done to one’s brand.
Think customer loss — a bad thing!
When we consider the journalists brand — satisfying our need for providing "objective perspective" we can look to the father of modern TV journalism, Walter Cronkite as the ideal brand model.
One could project where he stood politically, but there was doubt as to his positions.
The ideal j-brand for his time.
This brand attribute is a far cry from today’s journalists like Jim Acosta or Don Lemmon who wear their contempt for the president on their sleeves.
Comparing today’s "cheerleader j-brands" to Cronkite we can consider how news was made on that fateful night that Cronkite announced on a special broadcast on the then recent Vietnam War Tet Offensive (January, 1968) where he suggested that America cease fighting the Vietnam War. When Johnson heard and saw the program, it is believed by some that he said if he (Johnson) lost Cronkite, he lost middle America. Talk about playing your cards close to the vest, even President Johnson wasn’t really sure on what side Cronkite would eventually land. And when he found out. Johnson was devastated.
On the comedy side, the recent White House Correspondence Dinner with Daily Show’s writer Michelle Wolf at the Dias providing her brand of humor is what is wrong with the brand today.
Her controversial material which appealed to a certain segment rather than having a more universal one, didn’t do any favors to the journalism nor comedy brands.
Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Jack Benny were all equal opportunity offenders. They surprised you because you really didn’t know where they stood on the issues so that the punch line became entertaining—funny.
Rob Schneider the SNL comic alum, explains it best when he discusses Alec Baldwin’s comedic take on President Trump and that Baldwin’s interpretation is not comedy at all. "I don't find his (Baldwin) impression to be comical because..., I know the way his politics lean and it spoils any surprise. There's no possible surprise,” said Schneider.
Here Schneider is not only providing insight into the essence of the comedy brand—surprise but giving Baldwin some career branding advice — he’s an actor, not a comedian and you know what they say about comedy — dying is easy, and comedy that’s hard.
Journalism and comedy are such important brands in any society. They are even more important in a democracy. That’s why it’s so important for us to get these brands back to where they once were. They can start by satisfying the needs of their respective readers, viewers, and audiences rather than themselves who are doing the reporting and telling of jokes. If they do this, they will see that it's always easier when you have marketing and branding in mind.
Today’s Marketing & Branding Lens Thought May 2, 2018:
Don’t talk, Just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.
Follow JT on Twitter @MarketingDoctor.
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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