By Abdul Razak Bawa
There are only two courses in this world, they are innovation and marketing, any other course is a cost. Innovators will come up with an idea and a product and marketers will market the product to the benefit of everyone involved.
Classical Conditioning is a form of learning whereby a conditioned stimulus becomes associated with an unrelated unconditioned stimulus, in order to produce a behavourial response known as a conditioned response.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has over the years mastered the art of deception by using classical conditioning in promoting their candidates, as well as their policies, they create a condition in your mind such that anytime the name of their candidate is mentioned you associate him with one thing or another. When the name of president John Agyekum Kufuor is mentioned, you associate his name with the National Health Insurance, Metro Mass, School Feeding programme, National Youth Employment Authourity, The Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), etc. when the name of president Akufo-Addo is mentioning, immediately people will associate him with free Senior High School policy, Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory, etc., to the extent that, we sometimes even make a mockery of him.
Four More For Nana, is a well captured phrase that will resonate with majority of Ghanaians. Experts over the years have been engaged by the NPP to help create a slogan that will have a lasting impression on the people.
This year is an election year, and already the party is back to work, leaving behind its main opponent the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which is still licking the wounds of the 2016 defeat.
Four More For Nana is well captured, very focus, results oriented, very informing, very appealing and is certainly going to score some points for them.
The Year of Return,is another catchphrase that shows that, great minds were put to work. I do not know how much it cost to come up with the phrase, but no matter how much was spent, it was worth it. The initiative, like Panafest, which was launched during the tenure of President Jerry John Rawlings, but was not sustained, the number of Black Americans, including celebrities who took advantage of the initiative to visit Ghana, is a testament to the work that went into coming up with the phrase.
Ghana and indeed Africa is the beneficiary of the initiative as a lot of our Diaspora brothers and sisters for the first time visited Africa in a bid to trace their ancestral root.
Aside the huge financial benefit to the country, it was an opportunity for them to explore investment opportunities in the country.
Hotels, eateries, art galleries, tourists sites etc., cashed-in on the initiative. The government did not stop there, it has proceeded to launch the Year Beyond Return, this is to help sustain the momentum and consolidate the gains made so far, for as long as possible.
Before the launch of Four More for Nana, I was wondering what message or slogan the party could come up with going into the 2020 elections, because to the best of my knowledge the party has reached its wits end, every trick in the book has been sold to Ghanaians, and then boom, they pulled another results oriented and appealing slogan out of the hat.
The NDC, I have said before and still maintain is like a party of civil servants, they are too traditional and conservative in most of the things they do. Most of the so-called initiatives that the NPP is claiming credit for and touting as they being the first to introduce, have been done before by the NDC and in some instances even better, but they failed to brand and market it, so they could be credited for it.
In every contest, most especially politics, you do not expect your opponent to tout your achievements or even credit you for some things you have done right, it rarely happen, even in advance democracies. Donald Trump is tearing down everything Barack Obama, has built.
This year’s elections is the final showdown between president Akufo-Addo and president John Dramani Mahama, having both won in 2012 and 2016. The contest is not only going to be a battle of ideas, but how to market those ideas to the target audience, who in this case are the electorates.
In 2016, the NPP were able to consciously and aggressively market their policies, which although were audacious and overambitious, they sold it to the electorates and Ghanaians bought into.
In last year’s election in the United Kingdom, the Labour Party suffered one of their biggest defeats since 1934 to the Conservatives. The reason was simple, they did not provide any credible policy alternatives, and so the voters chose rather to stay with the devil, instead of the Angel they do not know.
Donald Trump, sold Making America Great Again, Barrack Obama sold Yes We Can, slogans have become a major part of electioneering and most candidates really engage the services of professionals to come up with slogans that, will resonate with the people and also take into consideration the times we live in.
Four More For Nana, is simply saying, he has put his best foot forward and much grounds is to be covered, so we should renew his mandate to finish what he started.
The NDC and president John Dramani Mahama, have a lot to do, it is early days yet in the year, but if the tone set by the NPP is anything to go by, it means they should try as much as possible to outdo them.