Despite the most recent unseemly poo-flinging at the Republican TV debate it does seem that Donald Trump is still looking set to be the run away candidate favourite.
This much you know.
So how is it that an ageing, racist, sexist, billionaire with a big mouth, a comb over and a never ending supply of beautiful wives has managed to snare the imagination of so many Americans?
I have some American friends and some of them are even quite smart 🙂
He lies, he contradicts himself, and has no real plans other than to get ‘the very best people’ in his team and yet they cheer his every non-promise.
So how come?
The first reason for this is the attraction of leadership.
Trump understands that to be a leader you don’t have to be bright, good or even have normal hair.
You just have to act like a leader – and leaders do not give a shit about what you think.
So he behaves like he doesn’t give a shit.
You see, whether or not your brand is that much of a big deal is somewhat beside the point. Act like a leader and sooner or later people will see you that way.
The second reason is the old saying of there’s no such thing as bad publicity. There is of course, but it depends what game you are in.
Until The Donald actually gets the nomination he has nothing to lose.
He’s just a monkey throwing faeces at the zoo visitors.
Trump oozes a sort of Bond villain charisma, but make no mistake about those vile comments, he knows exactly their effect.
He is drowning out any other voice.
And when those monkeys throw their poo, people love it and nobody’s visiting the penguins.
Those racist comments, only add to his quotability. You’ll never guess what he has said this time! The more he says, the more he gets column inches, the less you hear or care what anyone else is saying.
I’m sure he isn’t faking his prejudice but at this point he doesn’t have to care that much either way.
Why is Katy Hopkins even a personality you’ve heard of? (If you live in the UK) It’s because she says the unsayable and wow, papers love that. The more we hate her, the bigger her infamy.
In the sixties when David Ogilvy was setting up his agency, he decided to employ the same approach, albeit with less sexist vitriole.(I assume)
He wasn’t any different to any other agency guy setting out on his own, except he would always say something outrageous to the trade press where the others would appear learned and wise. But…who wants wise? That’s boring, right? Give them outrage. Give them weird. Give them funny.
After a year, if anyone needed a quote about anything, they called Ogilvy.
Was Mohammed Ali the greatest? Probably, but before he arrived on the scene boxers just shut up and turned up to the weigh in. He had to win of course, but his public persona was fashioned as something distinct, for one specific reason.
His ‘mouth from the south’ sold tickets.
And when you are the biggest crowd puller in pugilistic history and you tell everyone you’re the greatest, people kinda go…well okay…because frankly they never really heard of anyone else anyway.
(I happen to think he was actually but he didn’t have to be for the title to stick).
So, is your brand enough of a Trump? enough of an Ogilvy? Is it the greatest?
Maybe these examples are too brash for you or too controversial for your conservative company, but the fact is if you’re not getting heard, it doesn’t matter what you have to say or how ‘correct’ you are.
If some competitor is throwing poo at the visitors, you’re just some lizard in the reptile house.
Who are they, you ask?