Home > Uncategorized > Inoculation: A strategy worthy of consideration

Inoculation: A strategy worthy of consideration

I find it important to at least give a moment of attention to inoculation strategies within political advertising. Although it can be argued that inoculation strategies risk bringing up weaknesses that may never have been brought up otherwise; I argue that a smart campaign gets the message out early to frame the debate, the campaign, and the conversation. One smart way to begin the framing of a campaign is through inoculation. In the context of a candidate campaign inoculation is when one candidate would bring up a threat against oneself and then provide a preemptive refutation to that threat.  Or in the context of an issue campaign, one side of the issue would bring up a threat and then provide a preemptive refutation to that threat. Inoculation efforts are usually done early in the campaign as a preemptive measure to shield against attacks. The benefits of inoculating early in a campaign are: the ability to frame the campaign, prevent the impacts of attack messages later in the campaign, and the ability to use the message(s) from the inoculation efforts later in the campaign to address other/newer issues.

What I wonder regarding campaigns is: Why don’t I see more inoculation efforts within local ballot initiative campaigns and their related TV advertisements? For example, in California – Proposition 19 is currently in the heart of the campaign effort. We are less than 2 months from the election and neither side has begun television advertisements. Both seem to be currently relying on the internet to promote fund raising, support, and awareness; but neither campaign has engaged in ad wars to date and neither have produced inoculation ads. I argue that Proposition 19 is one of the biggest social justice issues of this election cycle and as controversial and taboo as the issue of legalization is: Why are we not seeing inoculation efforts?

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