Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bill Clinton, Spin Master: "Switch" by Will Smith

Though I am not one to attend political rallies or plaster my car with bumper stickers expressing my views, I do try to stay on top of what my politicians are doing.  Quite honestly, in the current environment, we can't afford to ignore what is going on in Washington, DC - regardless of your political leanings.

So, when I had an opportunity to hear former President Bill Clinton speak during the Solar Power International Tradeshow, I had to go see what he had to say.  Would you believe, in a room full of smart phones, they actually tried to stop us from recording his speech or taking pictures?  (I guess, Mr. Romney's campaign is learning how technology can cause Karmic repercussions the hard way....but I digress.)  Get this, though,...we were encouraged to Tweet during the speech and were given a hash tag to reference. Go figure.

It isn't often that I get to see a true Spin Master at work.  The marketing diva in me jumped with glee, as Bill gave us all a stern lesson on how to clean up our solar marketing messaging.  His basic theme was know your audience. The solar industry, as a whole, loves to use terms like "subsidies", "green", and "clean energy."  All of these terms apply, but have a more liberal spin.  To appeal to conservatives, we must use terms like "incentives", "ROI", and "job creation." Add these new terms with hard data and European case studies and you have a recipe that kills any 'show me the money' opposition.  Brilliant!

Of course, Bill had to pepper in a few subtle digs on the Republican candidates, but otherwise he stayed on target and gave some fact filled insights.

In truth, life is one long series of marketing campaigns for everything from wanting another cookie when you were a kid to negotiating your next promotion.  But, I just gotta believe that persuasion merely gets you a seat at the dinner table, while aptitude allows you to stay for dessert.

"Switch" by Will Smith

I just couldn't resist honoring Slick Willie (Bill Clinton) with a song from Big Willie (Will Smith).

(To all my global readers, I fully understand that "willie" or "willy" has an entirely different meaning in some countries - which is why the movie Free Willy had some marketing issues overseas. Though it is funny, no pun is intended on my part....)

Anyhow, until yesterday it was a toss up between "Gettin' Jiggy wit' It" and "Switch."  Both songs are fun and dance worthy, but "Switch" won out in the end....mostly because it is slightly more obscure than the jiggy song.

Unfortunately, there are no deep meanings or profound revelations in this song other than a shadow of the music industry's more than justified paranoia over free downloads in the line: "...don't download, go out and buy the record."  But then again, it has a catchy beat with a nice hook for all the video honeys to shake their rumps's a club song - and really, that's all it needs to be. "Hey!"

"That's what I'm talkin' 'bout..."

Our beloved Pres. Bill Clinton making a point on messaging.


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