What we can learn from the presidential race

here’s a thought:

for some brands, the current Obama presidential campaign, is a road map to success through the current economic downturn.

Some thoughts on how the Obama campaign is thinking about media and connecting with voters

1. TV plays a role, but is no longer considered core

2. A social media strategy

3. a blend of marketing message and feet on the ground.

4. an online prescence that asks me to connect and believe, rather than pulling me into
papervision3D experience

5. the celebration of transparency

6. cracking the code on constant commuication

in the advertising world, TV got lost down the road of entertainment and forgot that it was there to sell. the brand become this weird thing that we were embarrassed of and only alluded to.

TV commercials tried to make me laugh, they tried to make me cry, but it never really tried to connect with me.

kind of like the Republicans now, trying to scare the shit out of me so i vote against my own best interests, without actually every really, talking to me.

The Republican party is in a world of pain, until they broaden their base beyond rich scumbags and stupid poor people. Because the next few elections are going to be a testament to who is better in the digital world. although i suspect the republicans are going to try at least once more to control it and shut down the communication channels

on the other side of the political aisle, the Obama campaign has shown how effective a truly digital campaign can be. They understood that with digital comes the need to for transparency and really connecting with your constituents.

here is a link to a review of the Obama campaign’s digital strategy in the primaries.


In 2004 Howard Dean barely scratched the surface, only really focusing on fund raising.

Obama’s huge fund raising ability is not based on accessibility alone. If it was, i believe the campaign would have withered after the primaries.

There is an acute understanding within the campaign of what digital behaviors they are activating , creating and then encouraging to grow.

Activating their core group of brand advocates\ambassadors\evangelizers. Giving them the tools to influence their friends. Allowing them to pariticpate and feel like they are influencing the message, staying in contact, being transparent, standing for something that has relevence to them and they can believe in.

The fact that the candidate is a mostly controversy free individual with an electrifying personality, in a presidential race that for the first time is about a constant communication cycle and a need for the break from the current status quo is core to the success of this.

I doubt, even with the same tools, John Mccain would have been as big a success.

So what am i saying?

Republicans are traditional media and Democrats are digital media?


i am suggesting that in the upcoming cycle, whether you are a presidentail candidate or a brand or both, success is going to depend on whether you have the kind of DNA and attitude that makes sense to a digital environment, where constant communication is still the holy grail for marketers, but Obama campaign has cracked. Big time.

A home base online, activation through social networks, mobile used to connect consumers, on the ground activity, active in responding to voters questions and concerns and more.

Obviously this is not going to be for every brand. Just like micro-sites or engagement strategies aren’t.

but if the brand can deal with a level of transparency and honesty, has interesting or insightful people at the core of their business model (athletes, scientists) and sees dialogue and content as a way to enhance their offering,

with some smart thinking, a good production solution and a decent digital strategist,
i think they’re going to benefit from the current economic down turn.

it is a going to be a bumpy road for established companies and an ongoing struggle for new ones.
to get there is going to be scary. cause fights among business partners. create huge insecurity among current suppliers, test whether you are really in business or just collecting a paycheck.

and along the way, you’re going to figure out if you have the right kind of personality for working in marketing now. And whether your staff do to. a mix of OCD, ADD and some passion.

No space for people who are waiting to retire, have given up, are scared of the future, think living a digital life is having broadband or lack curiosity.

sounds pretty selective, mostly because it is.

8 years of George Bush and his disastrous policies have raised the bar for success in the digital space during the current economic downturn.

but there are those who are mobilising right now and will be ready to take advantage.

My advice would be to buy some B12, and find a place that understands the potential of where the world is right now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: