Any head banging raucous rock quartet worth their weight in snapped peas can whip their audience of several thousands. All they need is a stage with 2000 Watts of amplification driving twin stacks of speakers the size of Cooper Minis and a microphone into which to shout their “lyrics.”
The audience is a filtered crop of disaffected youth who go to the concerts to blow off steam and to partake of the concert rituals of weed, ecstasy, or numerous other stimulants. Although their idea of a fun time differs greatly from mine, they seem to enjoy the events.
Watching the concert tapes of such anarchy one can start to see the parallels to the Trump phenomenon. The audience is there to party, and par-tay they do. There is no constructive messaging in either and head-banging rock concert or a Trumpian rally. Both are designed to elicit strong emotional reactions and bonding to the brand through the release of endorphins. Both weave a simple message into the brains of the people who attend. Both have as their primary motivation continuation and promotion of the brand. Both need constant repetition to remain relevant.
In order to build a cadre of consumers of the brand, the brand needs to be seen as huge, bigger than the competition. People want to stand with the winner and eschew the loser. This is the motive behind marketing campaigns which tout the size of their following even when the claim is a lie. Trump is constantly trying to make people believe his following is far bigger than it is. He inflates the attendance numbers of his rallies. He claims his following is bigger than of previous rivals. His accomplishment are greater and more numerous even though there is no evidence to support it. Advertising campaigns do not rely heavily on the truth, but rather on perceptions.
There is evidence more than half of his twitter followers are fake and are sock puppet accounts controlled by computer bots which echo his messages. To use an industry term, he builds momentum via the echo chamber. In reality, if his bi-weekly rallies ALL had attendance of 15k people for the 3 years of his administration, the total attendance is only about 1.12 million people. This is not a very high number when compared to the 225 million people of voting age. It is not even a large portion of the 125 million people actually voting. Truly it is less than one-half percent of the number of people who actually voted for him in 2016. Besides they are “the choir” he is preaching to. His rallies do far more for his Ego and his Brand than they do for politics.