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The 5 Things Jerry Needs to Do to Win: Part 2

Laura Cueva |
July 2, 2010 | 3:10 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

There are two major players in California’s gubernatorial race: Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown. Though preliminary polls have shown Brown in the lead, Meg Whitman is not the type to give up without a fight.

Slowly it seems Brown is falling by the wayside and Whitman’s marketing team continues to do a fantastic job. If Brown wants to maintain his lead and gather the votes he (desperately) needs, then he’s got to kick up his campaign and kick it up soon.

Here are some words of advice to the Brown camp on what he needs to do to win:

#1: Attack Meg Whitman’s Past

#2: Face time, please!

Meg Whitman has put out a number of attack ads, many of which include her and her comforting voice. This has, no doubt, earned her the trust she needs to earn the public’s votes. Even I feel safe hearing her say “California needs to lead the nation again. And I think we can do it.” Yes we can, Meg! Yes we can!

Wait. We’re rooting for Brown, right? What just happened?

It’s something called the Meg Effect and it’s what happens when you mix good production value, a good script, and a human face we can see on screen speaking directly to us in a reassuring tone. It’s also something Whitman’s team is excellent at using and something we’ve yet to see from Jerry Brown.

Understandably, Brown doesn’t have the funds to produce the quality commercials that Whitman does, but he does have what Whitman so expertly uses: a face and a voice.

If Brown wants to win, we need to see him and hear him so we know that he cares about California’s future. Let us know that you’re a capable leader and that you know what to do to fix the state. Whitman connects with her audience so well because she’s there. She’s warm and she’s reassuring. This is somewhat intrinsically harder for a man to do, but he doesn’t need to exude the exact same emotion Whitman does. He simply needs some face time with the public in order to let us know where he stands.

The first step was to attack Whitman’s past, but let’s not get our steps mixed up. The last thing people want to see during election season is one politician personally bashing another on camera. So don’t go attacking her in person in your next ad, Brown, but get on screen so we can see you, hear you, and connect with what you’re saying.


To reach reporter Laura Cueva, click here.



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