Long gone are the days where businesses avoid talking politics in their advertising. It was a long-standing taboo that talking about political events or politics in general will push away a portion of your audience. This can still be true for very polarizing topics or if you are only catering to one side of the political spectrum. Well curated political content in your ads will still carry a level of risk but can be very enjoyable for your audience.
A good place to start is always in the middle. The easiest way to offend someone is to only include one side or one particular view. When we discuss political figures, events, or recent debates, it can be so easy to fall into assuming everyone shares the same ideas, perspectives, and attitudes as you. A good way to navigate this is by sharing ideas with people that have different political views than you. From there, you can make a more educated decision on how polarizing a topic may be and if it would offend one side more significantly than you realized.
Another element to having more political marketing is to know your audience. If you live in a primarily conservative area and your customers are conservative leaning, you need to know what their interpretations will be of your marketing. Easier said than done but you can always sample people and ask what they think of your potential ads. Knowing your audience can also help identify the themes that would work the best. Many conservative themes lay in stability and hard work, showing ordinary people helping their community. Many liberal themes lay in positive change, social activism, and diversity. Depending on your audience, they may interpret your marketing differently. An image of a protest may be very empowering to a liberal community but would not be as well liked by a conservative community.
Also, be authentic. If your marketing campaign focuses on supporting equality and diversity in the workplace, make sure your company or business shows that. Nothing discredits a business faster than a company saying they support equality initiatives but does not have a single woman or person-of-colour in higher management. The same can go for if you post about a particular topic or are seen supporting a movement, receive a negative reaction from one political side, you cancel your ad, and then the other political side is upset that you backed out. You want to avoid upsetting everyone by choosing what you stand for and stick with it.
If you run a barber shop, a funny political ad could be current political candidates with perfectly manicured fades and beards. Topics that everyone agrees on and can draw laughs from both sides include Trump’s silly hair and Biden’s weird stories.
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