Besides picking up some key endorsements in recent days, such as mortgage banker James B. Nutter Sr. and Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, another reason that Deb Hermann is coming on strong in the mayor’s race, in my opinion, is her creative use of signage.
I’m not referring to her yard signs, which are good, but to two mobile signs that are being rolled out for maximum exposure.
The billboard-type signs, essentially giant yard signs, cover the sides and backs of two U-Haul-type trucks, one of which has been parked along Southwest Trafficway and the other along Burlington Avenue in North Kansas City.
The one on Burlington, just past the the north end of the Heart of America Bridge, has been in a parking lot outside Bridge View Hall. Hermann’s campaign needed approval of the Bridge View Hall owner to park the truck outside his building.
The other truck has been parked on 36th Street, just off Southwest Trafficway.
I’ve been around politics a long time, but I’ve never seen truck advertising of this quality. I’ve seen a lot of second-rate truck advertising, including the use of homemade signs and irritating bull horns blaring the candidate’s message. But nothing this sophisticated…if you can call truck advertising sophisticated.
But Hermann doesn’t take credit for it. She referred me to campaign coordinator Megan Tallman, whose roots are in Westport and who has been involved in many grassroots-type campaigns.
Tallman said she saw similar truck-side advertising used in a Northland campaign last year, and she said she mentioned it at a campaign staff meeting. From there, the idea took off. The person who implemented the plan is a sign-company owner who is a supporter of Hermann. The man ordered the signs and had them affixed to the trucks, which he owns, Tallman said.
As a result, it’s not costing the campaign much money. It’s a so-called “in-kind” service, where the sign-company owner donates his cost to the campaign. It would be nearly cost prohibitive, at least in a local campaign, to rent two trucks for a month or more.
So, congratulations to the Hermann campaign for its ingenuity and for adding a capricious touch to the mid-winter campaign. As Tallman said, even if you’re not for Hermann, the gimmick “still makes you smile.”