J's Page

For when I need more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing, media or message.

‘Rombo’: Ripped from the headlines

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ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in political advertising, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing as it is used on the campaign trail. No candidates or political groups are endorsed. The opinions expressed here about the advertisements are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

 
Rick Santorum’s lighthearted “Rombo” ad takes aim at Mitt Romney’s negative attacks on his rivals — and it uses a headline (or hed) I wrote for a USA TODAY story. The hed is at the end: “Romney’s negative ads could cost him voters.” My God, the wordsmithery! Beyond clever, no? No. It’s the SEO’d (search-engine-optimized) hed I wrote for online. (As a rule, headline writers rarely every go for clever when writing heds for online; the searchbot algorithms don’t pick up smart plays on words and such.) The one I wrote for print had a little more flair: “Sharpest attacks cut both ways” with the deckhed: “Strikes on rivals could cost Romney.” Was it the best hed I ever wrote for the print product? No. But it said what the story was about, it worked on the page, and — most important — it will look good in my PDF portfolio.

I’m going to risk making myself ill and start including political ads here in my roundups. If between work, classes, homework, housework, and life, I get the chance to analyze the ads, then I will. Otherwise, the posts will be light, and viewers will be left to make their own judgments — trying to separate truth from fiction and keeping their lunch down in the process.

Author: Jacqui Barrineau

Jacqui Barrineau is a writer and editor who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., with husband Trey, a Shetland Sheepdog, and two unhelpful-but-funny cats. Her work has appeared in "So to Speak" and "Calliope," and she's a regular contributor to the flash-fiction sites Paragraph Planet and Doorknobs & Bodypaint. Once upon a time, she was the audience engagement editor at USA Today. Now she does other fun things that involve advertising, marketing and social media. The views expressed here and in other outlets are hers, not her employers'. Outside of work, she's proud to serve on the Northern Virginia Community College Marketing Advisory Committee. As a committee member, she joins industry leaders in lending their knowledge and expertise to ensure the college's Marketing curriculum is relevant and responsive to the needs of the students and the surrounding business communities.

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