Impressionable

Forgive me readers–for I have sinned. It’s been four months since my last article. It’s not for a lack of content. There sure is a lot to say these days about how candidates are communicating with the common voter. And of course, for many, the presidential election and its focus on Colorado’s airwaves are leaving a horrific impression on people.

Susan and Brian Scranton

Misquotes, out-of-context quotes and cherry picking come to mind–and at the end of the day, it’s not about getting the message out. It’s about confusing the mes- sage so that no one knows what to believe at all. Credibility. Fail.

You’d think that credibility would be at he heart of it all–just like it is for your business. That for campaign advertising, as n life, you get one chance to make an impression. But instead, the goal is not to be as credible as possible–it’s simply to reach more people than the other guy. This elecion cycle, and its billions of dollars, are ocused on that one thing; flood the airwaves and reach as many people as possible.

That’s what we’re going to talk about; the “reach as many people as possible” part. When advertisers talk about reaching people, they do so with the term “impressions.”

Every media outlet (TV, radio, billboards, online ads, etc.) talks about the number of people who will see an ad; they call this an impression. In fact, the cost of advertising is measured in this way, using a number called a CPM (cost per mille), or the cost per thousand viewers. For example, 30seconds of advertising on television during primetime costs a brand about $40 per

1,000 people. Where a billboard might be more like $2 $5 and a text ad on google search is more like pennies.

To reach as many of the 3.5 million voters in Colorado as possible, campaigns will spend more than $100 Million in just three months–that’s $30 per voter or as much as $100 or more per family. Think of all the good that could be done with that money-and instead, they’ll use it to get as many impressions as possible with ads that, well, aren’t very impressive at all.

Brian Scranton is a strategic branding expert and Managing Director for the award-winning creative firm, GrahamSpencer Inspired Communications. Prior to his tenure on the Western Slope, Brian cut his teeth in New York City advertising, creating strategies and creative campaigns for companies including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. Brian lives in Ridgway, Colorado with his wife Susan and daughter Sophia.