“Keep it simple, stupid.”

Pretty straightforward. In the 1960s, the U.S. Navy coined the term to describe their goal in designing aircraft. They cautioned that their planes should be repairable by the average mechanic, in combat conditions, with ordinary tools, keeping things as simple as possible. 

But “KISS” is a useful and important principle off the battlefield, too. In fact, when it comes to political and public affairs advertising, “KISS” is maybe the most important principle of all; the easier it is for the audience to grasp an advertiser’s message, the more likely it is that that audience will engage with it.

Political and public affairs advertisers are often attempting to communicate complex ideas about complicated subject matters. To keep audiences’ eyes from glazing over, the messaging needs to be simple enough to be understood by the average consumer – likely while they’re distracted – and communicated in plain language. The simpler the message, the greater the likelihood of advertising success. Political and public affairs messages excel when they’re crafted with the “KISS” principle in mind: audiences – whether regular, everyday people or Washington influencers and decision makers – are often focusing on something else, and the advertising window of opportunity is often only open for 30 seconds. 

By remembering to “KISS,” political and public affairs advertisers can capitalize on their opportunities to communicate with target audiences, holding their attention for as long as possible and maximizing the likelihood of advertising success. 

So, the next time you’re thinking through how to connect with your target audience – “KISS” and tell: Tell your story, and keep it simple…because overcomplicating your message is just not smart.

Jamestown Public Affairs – Advocacy. Strategy. Political Insight.