Hillary Clinton’s Advertising – Could Dial Testing Have Made the Difference?

Clinton Campaign Ad
Per AdvertisingAge, “Role Models” was one of the Clinton campaign’s most highly budgeted ads. (Image courtesy of NYDailyNews.com)

Interesting article in AdvertisingAge this week by  where he makes the case that one of the downfalls of the Clinton campaign was that their advertising in the critical weeks prior to the election totally missed its mark. Dumenco refers to the Clinton campaign as “tone deaf” in reference to understanding the evolving mindset of voters. The article was a not-so-subtle reminder of the risks of thinking you know what you know about your ads, your message, and your audience.

At Dialsmith, this is always a hot topic of discussion with our clients. Because in many ways, dial testing is the one of the surest litmus tests for finding out if you know what you think you know, and why the methodology has been ingrained in ad and message testing for more than three decades. As one of our clients who specializes in political communications noted, “Dial testing enables us to pinpoint what specific messages, and what particular moments, voters react to… Knowing precisely what evokes a reaction allows us to better predict what the impact of such messages might be over time up through Election Day.” Whether or not one agrees with Dumenco’s position, it does shine a light on the importance of making sure your advertising hits the mark and that you’ve employed the right research methods to make that happen.