Spampaign

[UPDATE]:

I just got a fundraising letter in the snail-mail. Can you believe it? They must be throwing everything out there.

Well, almost everything. The letter included a return envelope, but they were too cheap to spring for the stamp. LOL.

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I just got called by a Republican telefundraising service. They said they were with America’s Next Generation; when I asked who that was, the lady hesitated and then said, “A SuperPac.” I asked where they got their money from and she said, “Republican donors like yourself.”

LOL. I’ve never donated to a Republican group in my life. I’ve never voted Republican in my life, either. How they got my name and number I have no clue, but this happens every now and then — last election I got called by a little old lady who said she was calling from the College Republicans. I mean, you could just tell she was 90 gazillion years old. I burst out laughing.

Anyway, I’m on some list, probably related to church stuff I’ve done. Some mailing list got merged with another mailing list which got merged with another list and then before you know it you’re getting direct mail pieces from Gary Bauer and campaign calls from Republican SuperPacs.

They wanted me to listen to their new ad, which was basically cherry-picked Obama quotes preceded by a scary-voiced announcer dude saying, “Obama said this but here he is in his own voice saying this!” They focused on Obamacare (“he said the individual mandate is not a tax but the Supreme Court said it is!”), the debt (“he said Bush’s debt was unpatriotic but his is worse!”) and Obama’s re-election (“he said he should be a one term president if he didn’t get the job done! Well?! WELL?!“). Then, oddly, I got returned to a real person who wanted to know what else I wanted to hear in future ads. I told them I didn’t want to hear any of this crap and why the hell were they calling registered Democrats and Obama volunteers? They had no clue.

Of course not.

According to OpenSecrets, this anti-Obama SuperPac has spent a big chunk of its money on a company called InfoCision Management Corporation, the nation’s second-largest telemarketing company. Apparently asking you to tell them what other issues you want raised in future ads is the latest in call center campaigning! It personalizes the call! Makes it seem less scripted! Creates a connection between the organization and the individual! Increases the fulfillment rate exponentially! Strategery! Technology!

I dunno, but it seems to me that might work better on something like raising money for the symphony or art league, less well on trying to uproot a president. It also might help if they didn’t call registered Democrats when raising money for Republicans — you know, a little more “info” with your “cision”? But what do I know.

I thought this was funny: Via the Sunlight Foundation, here’s the office of America’s Next Generation:

Funny You Don’t Look Like A SuperPac

Anyway, I’m starting to think that campaigns are running out of ideas. They’ve got all this money thanks to the Supreme Court and no clue what to do with it. They’ve reduced themselves to spam marketers, bombarding everyone with this stuff and hoping something, somewhere sticks. Spamming only works because it costs next to nothing to send 100,000 Viagra and porn e-mails. I’m not sure that works with telefundraising and TV ads though.

Furthermore, we’re starting to read about how people might be tuning out TV campaign ads. No! Say it ain’t so! This is really bad news for the media, since campaign ads are their bread and butter these days. Hell, the news media started gearing up for the 2012 election the day after Obama was elected. It just never stops with them.

It’s almost kind of funny, except it’s not.

About these ads

13 Comments

Filed under advertising, Housekeeping

13 responses to “Spampaign

  1. Joe

    I know I’ve gotten on these phone lists because I’m identified as a Catholic and their assumption is all Catholics vote Republican – no, only those who choose to be fooled by the Republicans! I got a recorded message on the home phone and I just sat it down next to me while I was working at the computer so it didn’t disconnect and go on right away to its next call.

    As for TV ads, when my brother ran for our county Common Pleas court in 2008, we knew that we didn’t have money for TV ads (especially not at the rates being charged for far larger campaigns), plus we knew we’d be completely lost in the chatter. So we worked our tails off campaigning everywhere: church festivals, neighborhood festivals, local parades, door to door; target phone campaigns (loved hearing my late Mom call folks saying she was calling for her son who was running for judge). My brother and I personally went through a couple of the housing projects here in our city going door to door. He picked up plenty of those folks stunned to see a candidate for judge asking for their vote. And because we had early voting at our BOE, he worked the final week going person to person in line asking for their vote. He won by a good size, the first Democrat to unseat an elected incumbent Republican judge in our county since the mid-1960’s.

    Good old street level politics.

    • I wonder if that’s how I’ve gotten on these lists? I’ve signed on to some Catholic social justice campaigns — petitions to protect immigrants and end the death penalty and such.

  2. Jim

    I just ignore all of the political campaign phone calls and direct mailings. Phone calls get hung up on as soon as I hear who it is, and the direct mail goes straight in the recycling bin. I don’t care which party it is, I am not interested in taking a survey.

    If you want my vote then make this promise: instead of flooding the public with ads, promise to direct all of your campaign contributions to reducing the debt. No stupid yard signs, direct mailings, lying commercials, etc. etc. Just donate all of that money to the debt and you would have my vote.

    • Nobody gives a flying turd about the debt, Jim. God, when will you idiots get that through your heads? Certainly Republicans don’t. It’s just a political bargaining chip used to gin you guys up into a dither about all of that spending on the poors. If anyone gave a good goddamn about the budget deficit they’d cut defense spending and raise taxes. But no, we’re supposed to balance the budget by cutting funding to NPR and the arts? Hilarious.

      “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter” — Vice President Dick Cheney to Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, after O’Neill warned that huge tax cuts for the wealthy and two wars would raise the deficit to $500 billion that fiscal year alone. A month later O’Neill was fired.

      Cheney is still spouting that BS as he begs and pleads for Republicans to keep spending on the military. And Republicans are going to fall in line like they always do. Because a military 10 times bigger than the rest of the world’s COMBINED is not big enough. But spending money on veterans health benefits is socialism!

      Idiots.

      • Jim

        While I agree that none of the politicians give a flying turd about the debt, I do believe a significant portion of the population does indeed care about the debt. We don’t agree on the solutions to the debt, but we agree that it is a problem. Don’t you think being $16 trillion in debt is bad SB? And yes, Republicans waste government money all over the place. That was not the point of my post above. I was agreeing with your post concerning the spam ads and wishing they would all just go away. Sorry to piss you off by mentioning the debt.

      • Really? Cuz I sorta remember making a really big deal about the rising debt back when W was president and waging wars and unfunded Medicare expansions and Paris Hilton tax cuts and NO ONE on your side of the aisle gave a crap, Jim. NO ONE.

        Zip.

        Until you were TOLD to when Obama became president.

        So don’t give me that shit about the deficit. No one on the right gave a crap until they were told to because you’re all fucking brainwashed.

      • ThresherK

        I love soccer, and have an original Edmonton Drillers pennant to prove it. But I don’t expect it to overtake the NFL’s ratings soon.

        Why do I mention this? Because “people care about the debt” is the political equivalent of “Americans care about soccer”.

        Well, with one exception: Soccer team owners, and players, fans merchandisers and broadcasters involved with soccer, from the LA Galaxy all the way down to the Southern California Seahorses, have an idea of the limits of soccer’s popularity in the USA.

        The debt fetishists*, however have expended lots of effort and money whoring their fetish, and they’ve got this idea that there’s a built-in fan base for Debt Trolling which would continue to exist in a meaningful manner without their fluffing.

        (*Everyone in the right wing propaganda press, all the Beltway Inbreds, and over half the lobbyists / thinktanks.)

  3. Randy

    I just wish it’d been someone calling from Calcutta. Give the GOP credit. Job creation.

  4. democommie

    What are the first six digits of the calling number. I’ve been getting shitloads of calls from some 866 numbers, none of which I answer and they don’t leave a message. Could be bill collectors (me and Verizscum are having a tiff about my final phone bill) but until they identify themselves they’re shit out of luck.

    • It came up as “unknown” on Caller ID. Sorry.

      Bill Collectors will leave a message. I was getting harassed by a collections agency who was calling me by mistake — they were looking for someone with my first name and my husband’s last name, which gives you something very common like Jane Smith. Must be millions of them in this country. They kept calling and I kept telling them “you’ve got the wrong person, that’s not me.” They left tons of messages. Finally found their Jane Smith I guess, or maybe they gave up, because I haven’t heard from them in a while.

      • deep

        Nah, they’re just preparing to file suit against you. In fact they may already have–doesn’t Tennessee have a rather loosey goosey notice law? I think a constable only needs to post a notice where they think you are, even if it’s not your house.

        You might want to check court records at your local courthouse before they come to seize your property or arrest you. I wish I was joking but this happened alllllll the time back when I worked for the collection agencies. We’d often got the wrong people, but since there was already a judgment my boss told me to pursue them anyway since we often just scared them into paying. It’s a disgusting racket.

  5. ThresherK

    I don’t know about “tuning out TV ads” means “TV stations suffer”.

    I’d love it to be that, but we may also be dealing with the “burn up all the oxygen” style suffocation.

    I can’t say that voters notice when Candidate X (or their PACs) have 55% of the adtime and Candidate Y (or their PACs) have 45%, and therefore favor X. But an overwhelming number of ads may swamp someone who is being outspent 2-1 or so, and now that we’re getting to the months where it’s wall to wall political ads, the folks with fewer ads will simply get heard less, and that’s something PACs may well spend to lock in place.

  6. heh. IOW, they got tired of being stuck with paying the postage on bricks sent back to them in their postage-paid envelopes…