Me and Hillary in Vegas? Er, No
By Ken Magill
My college journalism mentor, Charlie Adair, used to say the best editors have dirty minds because they spot unintended connotations in words and phrases before they get published.
My mind is pure filth. And I am a pretty good editor, if I say so myself.
The Clinton camp sent out an email to subscribers recently, the subject line of which I would have recommended they change.
“You and me in Las Vegas,” the subject line said.
It immediately conjured an image that really needs to stay in Vegas—without me.
To me, it was akin to “You and me at Carnival in Rio,” or “You and me at Mardi Gras.”
Granted, the word “you” is the second most powerful selling word in the English language right behind “free.” Versions of the word “you” are common in advertising, “Have it your way,” being a famous example.
But the Clinton camp’s use of the phrase “you and me” pertaining to Vegas with its purposely crafted what-happens-here-stays-here image struck an off note with me.
“You and me in Washington” would not have had the same effect.
I’m willing to concede maybe it’s me.
There is a photo on our bookshelves of me shaking hands with former President Bill Clinton. I took part in a panel discussion at an event held in Aspen, CO by infoGroup at which Clinton was the keynote. Everyone who attended got their picture taken with him.
It was at that event that I finally understood Bill Clinton’s political appeal. “The guy’s electric,” I thought as he held the room riveted, seemingly talking to everyone individually.
But that experience has not translated into support for Hillary.
So admittedly, maybe the “You-and-me-in-Las-Vegas” subject line was a turn off to me mainly because I am not a proper target.
But imagining the same subject line from every other candidate still strikes me as creepily familiar.
I don’t want to play blackjack, drink and smoke cigars with any of them.
I would love to hear from some Hillary supporters to find out if the Clinton You-and-me-in-Vegas subject line prompts anything close to the visceral reaction it did from me. [Remember, readers: This is about marketing, not politics.]
Opening the Clinton Vegas email revealed it was a promotion urging supporters to sign up for a chance to be in the audience to support her during the Democrat presidential debate in October.
“Support me in Vegas” in the subject line would have conveyed the same message as would have “I need your support in Vegas” without connoting an image of hanging out with Hillary in a casino into the wee hours of the morning, or worse.
So readers, is it me or was that a creepy subject line?