Primaries, Holidays, Scheduled to Conflict

Start planning now for the festive, er, election season.

Usually, this is the time of year to ready your full color printing for the holidays, but because our country can't wait to race to the polls this election season, we might see campaign advertising coming in to conflict with holiday advertising. This will mean some tricky maneuvering for holiday advertisers and campaign organizers alike.

First, Nevada changed its primary date to January 19th, the same date as the New Hampshire Primary. According to New Hampshire state law, its primary must be changed to be the first in the nation. However, a good deal of elbow-jostling later, we see the Michigan Primary slated for the 15th, and just last week, Iowa made the some-say-bold-some-say-crazy move to hold their caucus on the 3rd of January.

The upshot of all this is that New Hampshire is on the brink of changing their primary date to somewhere between Christmas and New Years, a move that could wreak havoc on holiday advertising. Everything from TV commercials to full color printing would be affected as election campaigners fight to be heard over all that holiday cheer.

However, it's not business and event advertisers that need be worried about this conflict. During the holidays, people WANT to hear about sales and parties and all things related to spending money and getting drunk. What they probably don't want is to be sorting political direct mailers out of their greeting cards, and to be looking at election campaign signs while they're on their annual light-gazing car tour.

Yup, it's true. Even the nicest full color printing can incite negative sentiment when it's in the wrong place at the wrong time. These conflicting seasons are going to make campaign advertising extremely difficult. There are three ways that campaign managers can combat this impending issue:

  • Combine campaign advertising with holiday advertising. Candidates usually send out a seasonal message, so why not make it the focus of your entire last-minute campaign platform? After all, at this time of year, people want to hear messages about peace and unity, and face it, that's also what they want to hear from their future elected officials.

    The day when there is no difference between a piece of full color printing bearing a holiday message of love and peace, and full color printing advertising a political candidate will be a great day indeed. All the children of the world may very well join hands and sing.
  • Make sure that voters know that you know and understand their irritation at any intrusion on the holiday season. No need to write an apology direct mailer, just let them know that you wouldn't be intruding if it wasn't important, and if their participation didn't matter to you.
  • Be funny. Much voter annoyance with political advertising comes from the fact that it can be pretty boring. Try building a full color printing campaign around the fact that political advertising at Christmas is annoying. If it's funny enough, voters will forget to be irritated.
  • That being said, the key to positive campaign advertising this holiday season will be to keep it respectful and focused on what's actually important to voters. And don't put too much pressure on yourself. After all there's only one way to truly mesh these full color printing titans: “Santa Claus for President!”

    (And something tells me that's not going to be happening anytime soon.)


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