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Keywords:

  • political marketing;
  • political communications;
  • soap;
  • rituals;
  • military strategy;
  • realtors

Abstract

This paper examines three common political expressions and ideas from a marketing perspective. First, the origins of the ‘selling candidates like soap’ expression are traced and it is argued that, rather than being ‘sold’ like a product, candidates are instead ‘marketed’ like a service provider such as a real estate agent. Traditional campaign rituals have a legitimate marketing function if electors, and not just political actors, are meaningfully incorporated and military analogies in elections have increasing relevance given the classic military strategy used by commercial marketers. Together, these examples suggest that the application of marketing to politics may require the rethinking of ingrained electoral jargon and concepts. Copyright © 2003 Henry Stewart Publications