The fact that the Ukrainian policy a little too much like the show, began to complain at the dawn of independence, but today this statement has acquired a literal meaning. And not just because sports stars and pop stars, we easily pass to the Parliament by lists, and by County. Even political leaders now emulate the bravado of artists, party spin as the commercial brands and campaigning more reminiscent of a promotional campaign, another Hollywood movie.
This year, the situation has reached the point of absurdity, one of the main contenders for the presidential Mace combines agitation in the regions with his concert tour. A key element of his campaign is a TV series in which the candidate plays the role of President. To play a private show is trying and the other candidates.
The traditional “going to the people”, a verbal duel under the TV cameras and the brawl in the session hall have become commonplace — an era of more serious direction. Tuples that stop a baby crying, heart-rending monologues from wheelchairs, public eating land — now the Ukrainian policy requires more dedication and creativity. For authoritarian regimes is not uncommon: flying with Siberian cranes and diving on the seabed, the dictators fill the vacuum of political life. But in a democracy, the political show is a factor, which depends on much more than the electoral success of specific political forces. Because the emotions of the audience — the substance is highly unstable, show-politics brings to life the element of chaos, which is harder than you think, and therefore, democratic regimes are increasingly vulnerable and unstable. And to do something with this extremely difficult.
Let’s start with the fact that to draw a clear line between show business and official policy in a democratic country can be only in theory. In practice, between them always there is a broader aspect of understanding (interdependence) not least because that show-business, and official policy have similar objectives, and are therefore doomed to using parallel methodology.
The purpose of any business as efficiently as possible to sell the goods (typically, a mass audience), converting it into profit. Before a politician is a similar task: to increase their electoral capital, converting it into power. Of course, the meaning of political activities are not limited to this, but without this it is impossible. So, in both cases critically important, as a successful development strategy has developed a certain company or party headquarters.
Therefore, politicians and businessmen use the same wide Arsenal of marketing tools ranging from billboards and advertisements in the media and ending public support for athletes and actors. In this context, marketing is the engine of not only trade but also political life. This may seem like an exaggeration, it is considered that voters are guided by their values and priorities, and the constellation of political forces only reflects the balance of social forces.
Is it really possible to “sell” the businessman socialism, and nationalists — “friendship” with Russia? Yes, political marketing is not omnipotent. In reality, however, citizens do not always clearly perceive their own interests, and make a rational choice. Therefore, in response to one or another political initiative, voters very often meets the expectations created by the party headquarters. In the highest degree the success of charismatic leaders who “sell” to the electorate not even a controversial program, but simply visions and charged emotions populist narratives. About it quite frankly wrote Gustave Le Bon, whose concept has raised many political leaders of the twentieth century.
Lebon from marketing can be considered to be Edward Bernays, pioneer of the American public relations industry in the 1920s. It is substantiated theoretically and proved in practice that manufacturers can not only meet demand, but also to successfully to create it appealing to some (including irrational) motives of the target audience. The economic implications of this simple but revolutionary postulate cannot be overemphasized. I changed the approach to advertising: the focus now is not on the description of the parameters of the product, and the creation of attractive images related to possession. Thus, smartphone manufacturers, clothing or cars can meet the expectations of not only the material needs of their consumers. The most successful brands create around himself an elite subculture, for which consumers are willing to pay handsomely.
Similar trends apply fully to the sphere of art, as showbiz, for all its specificity is also guided by marketing logic. In this sense, the company that makes people buy unwanted goods at an inflated price is not very different from the populist, which prompts him to make a definite political choice.
But the similarities do not end there. In 100 years, founded by Bernays revolution began to fizzle out and the company to mobilize potential buyers, armed with policy. If before the business usually stay away from politics, not wanting to scare off potential buyers, and now global brands become promoters of a very specific ideological dogma. For example, in his new ad, released in January 2019, the year, the company “Gillette” already promises a comfortable shave, but calls to deal with “toxic masculinity”. The face of “Nike” is becoming the player — a fighter against racial discrimination Colin Kapernick and Reebok launches campaign in support of feminism.
It is not only on the Declaration of General principles. For example, in February 2017, the year Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft publicly opposed restrictions on migrants from Islamic countries entered Donald trump. About how the last presidential election influenced the Hollywood crowd, needless to say: star massively threw himself into political activism, and cinema is more ideologiserad.
All of this can cause the irony, they say, now people are trying to educate even the sellers of sneakers. However, this is not corporate hubris, and it is a pragmatic calculation, as the demand for “politically conscious” brands among American Millennials are extremely high. In a few years they will become the mainstream consumer audience, and yet will pay more to producers for ideological “correctness”.
In Ukraine, we now see mostly examples to the contrary, when political factors affect (at least try) on the business: examples include the campaign to boycott Russian goods. But there is no doubt that in the future all of us-let’s join in the global trend. Meanwhile, almost a mirror process happens in politics, which is also experiencing “falling sales”.
In the twentieth century, the political market was very diverse and represented a wide range of ideas ranging from fascism to anarchism. Having lost in the twenty-first century the most radical concepts of the Euro-Atlantic world has been relative calm, however, the political field has become extremely monotonous. Add to this the crisis of major ideologies — and we have what we have: accumulate political capital is becoming increasingly difficult.
And here to the aid of political marketing came the bad old populism, in which effective gestures substitute for arguments, fiery slogans and software principles and shocking valued more than virtue. Victory trump, the latest forecasts of the European Parliament elections and the internal political processes in the EU suggests that such a marketing strategy is not meaningless. Breaking into the role of entertainers and behaving like a Hollywood celebrity, some policies can successfully fight for the electorate with respectable statesmen and functionaries of the authoritative parties. In this direction, Ukraine is even ahead of the West because our political field is generated not only from scratch, but also in post-totalitarian conditions, so an understanding of show business and politics is becoming such a grotesque, if not absurd forms.
So, in the struggle for the favor of society, politics and business using all available marketing Arsenal. The problem is that in the political arena may have serious negative consequences. And it’s not just that communication technologies, made all the more effective, can cover a meaningful emptiness. We are talking about the fact that the warm high-tech campaigning, voters can target their country in the wrong direction. Five times to pay for the phone or to go to a concert promoted mediocrity is one thing, but to entrust power threat to adventurers is a different level of risk.
In sustainable democracies, in this case there is institutional fuses, which can to some extent reduce the negative consequences of the electoral error. But in Ukraine, such fuses are almost non-existent, so we are in a situation of dual threat: on the one hand, it is a threat to democracy from authoritarianism, and threat to the state associated with some electoral trends. In the case of approximation to authoritarianism Ukrainian society has already twice used the stop-cock in the form of independence. But what to do when the future of the country is threatened electoral consequences show policy? On this question answer is extremely difficult.
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