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How marketing and traditional simplicity won the day for Trump

For all the talk of the new era of politics or media, the election of Donald Trump is a true triumph for the traditionalist marketer.

America has rejected Hillary Clinton’s pitch for continuity in favour of Trump’s battle cry for change, a “beautiful thing” that he said “will mean the forgotten men and women [of this country] won’t be forgotten any longer”. And there lies the key to why the former reality TV star’s version of America outmuscled Clinton’s. Effective campaigns are built on emotion, not reason – a validation of what great advertisers have always known.

More worryingly, and with wider marketing implications, Trump’s victory signals a victory for polemic over fact and opinion over expertise, adds Simon Francis, a founder member at Campaign Collective a social enterprise marketing agency.

Trump understood that he didn’t need KSPs and RTBs; he needed to move people, an idea that first swept into focus during the Brexit debate and is being fuelled by politicians worldwide, a compliant media and the increasing decline of social media into a self-reinforcing echo chamber where people only hear what they want to hear. How else could the man who wants to erect a border wall between his country and Mexico increase the Republican share of Hispanic voters (29%) versus Mitt Romney’s (27%) four years ago?

Donald Trump has proven one thing unequivocally, claims Kev Chesters, Ogilvy & Mather’s chief strategy officer: that brand still matters above everything. “Brand is all he has. If 2012 was the triumph of Nate Silver, 2016 was the triumph of Byron Sharp.

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