Keeping with my recent theme of taking back the schools and The Angelic One's culture post, I offer this latest installment.
I've been in advertising for 22 years. I worked for an agency that had a process called Brand Essence. Every agency has something similar, with a different name. What they all boil down to is a process of strategic thinking that marries the Rational with the Emotional.
Case in point: VW was selling less than 50,000 cars in North America in 1995, and was think of pulling out of the market all together. My agency was hired because of our ability to come up with the brand's essence. "On the road of life there are passengers and there are drivers. Drivers wanted."
Affordable German engineering. It was all about moving metal, but it was more because of the story behind the metal. The narrative that connected people to the Rational on an Emotional level. Everything we did was based on this basic storyline. And every story expanded on it. On an emotional level. After 10 years of telling this story sales were over 500,000 annually.
People will not buy products for rational reasons alone. They need an emotional reason to make the purchase. Even for a bar of soap. A brand's essence is that emotional connection, and it is indeed a connection, that makes people feel comfortable with the rational reasons for making the purchase.
How does this apply to votes? Conservatives are great at, and focus solely on, "white papers". The dry, rational reasons of why our policies are better for America. Data, history, circumstances generally prove us correct more often than not. But what we fail to do is make the emotional connection with voters in order to get them to feel comfortable with our "product". In fact, we often do just the opposite. We speak in terms of spreadsheets and balance sheets and raw numbers. We wonder at the "stupidity" of those who can't see what we see.
Progressives, on the other hand, can't really defend their policies on empirical and fiscal levels. So they tell stories, they connect on an emotional level that makes it easier to accept their flawed rationality. They control all major storytelling outlets from news rooms to the TV in the living room to the big screen. From the theater to the galleries. Most importantly in the school room.
We've got to get better at telling the story of why our policies are right. We've got to translate the white papers into a narrative. We've got to connect the Rational with the Emotional.
There are very few Conservatives in this creative world. We need to dedicate ourselves to giving these few more platforms with which to tell our stories. For it is the emotional connection where elections are won and lost.
The following article make this point. It's right on the money.
The fact is, it's easier to sell a political narrative to America when it comports with the cultural narrative we see and hear every day.
"The universe is made up of stories, not atoms," the poet Mariel Rukeyser once said. Stories, not facts, are the way people process information. Screenplays, plays, scripts, and stories are packed not with hard data but something more powerful and human: emotional data. That's why we remember stories long after we've forgotten facts. Stories stir our souls.
We've invested billions in our great think tanks but little in the task of translating that work into stories the average American will care about. Yes, we have Fox News and political talk radio - important outlets, but outlets that narrowcast to the conservative base and are driven by politics and opinion, not storytelling.
What we don't have is an alternative to NPR. Or The Daily Show. Or 60 Minutes. Or The Charlie Rose Show. Or Frontline. Or Ken Burns. Content that doesn't scream its politics at the audience but that lures America in with great storylines, not lectures.
We don't respect storytelling. We believe deep down in our hearts that if we just keep pounding away at America with our superior policy positions, and our superior arguments, we'll win - that if we just educate the masses, they'll vote with us.
We forget that most Americans get their education through stories. And most Americans don't connect with the smartest person in the room, even if that person believes in the American experiment and the innate genius of the American people.