Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Word Du Jour: Retail Politics

Once before, I wrote about how the media will choose a word or catch phrase that is not in normal vernacular, and then saturate the media until said word or phrase becomes part of mainstream vocabulary. Recently, I have been hearing the phrase "retail politics".

Retail politics is a term used to describe, among other things, the ol' fashioned campaign technique of shaking hands and kissing babies. We still get a little of this in New Hampshire and Iowa, but, for the most part, we encounter our presidential candidates on TV screens far more than on Main Street.

I first heard the term over the weekend after Barack Obama tossed his hat into the ring for the democratic nomination. And then it popped out again, right after Hillary Clinton did the same. Television journalists are spitting this term out left and right, sometimes more than once in the same sentence. This term has probably been used before, but I've not heard it used so much, so often, and by so many at the same time.


  1. I thought that maybe the (red) campaign from Gap, Apple and Motorola was an example of retail politics.

  2. It's ironic then that the very same term the media cooked up can be used to describe exactly what they, too, are doing - i.e. creating a buzz to draw people's attention: retail media. Harumph. It's all marketing bullshit.