I believe McCain’s campaign emphasis on Obama’s ties to Ayers and Wright is misplaced, not that they are not problematical but that they become increasingly irrelevant.

One of the common mistakes in advertising is ‘borrowed interest’, where the marketer apparently has nothing strong to say about the product or service they are purveying so they ‘borrow your interest’ by some how associating the product with something with a stronger appeal, often something sexy or macho or irrelevantly humorous.

An effective ad is Fedex’s “when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight.” It gives you a direct and compelling reason to use their service, a space they have dominated for years.

Effective ads are not necessarily clever, or funny, or sexy. They compel you to buy the product or service.

McCain’s campaign is not compelling.

He should focus on the details of Obama’s tax proposal. The tax increase from social security alone on those who earn well under $250,000; the direct impact a tax increase on the upper income will have on transferring business overseas, the importance that a business earns its cost of capital in order to invest to create jobs and how taxes impede that are issues to bring forth. He should directly confront him that a tax cut or tax credit to people who pay no taxes is just another form of welfare.

I think the capability to underestimate the ability of the public to understand these issues is underestimated.

The Wall Street Journal has written about these faults in great detail, but few other news outlets have addressed it. It is challenging to get this information into digestible campaign rhetoric but perhaps it would be possible if they wasted less time on Ayers.

McCain has had some good moments. “America did not become great by redistributing wealth, but by creating wealth.” Great words and they should be repeated with every possible moment.

tips to Phil Haynes for the marketing lesson