5 Lessons From The McCain-Obama Presidential Race

31 10 2008

Politics is brass-knuckle marketing in the rawest imaginable form.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. The time to generate awareness and preference is tiny.There’s one winner, and one loser. And, the future of a nation rides on the decision.

No matter what your political preferences are, there’s a lot we can learn as marketers from this election. Here are 5 critical lessons from the 2008 Presidential race.

1. Welcome To The Desktop Democracy

Look at this user-generated video of “Palin as President: A Heartbeat Away”. Attack ads can (and do) now come from anywhere. The mouse is mightier than the sword, and can be tougher and smarter than Washington-insiders. And remember, it’s now as easy for an average consumer to skewer your brand as it is to skewer a politician.

2. The Desktop Democracy Is Both Blue and Red

There are plenty of pro-McCain/Palin videos online, too. Here’s one.

3. Plain Vanilla TV Still Matters

For all the talk about Obama’s digital efforts in mobile and on Facebook, his thirty-minute “infomercial” acknowledges an important truth: millions upon millions of heartland undecideds still watch plain old TV. And sight, sound and motion are still the best way to win hearts and minds.

4. Be Careful How Much You Stretch The Truth

You may be able to get your legal department and the networks to agree to let you stretch the truth of your claims. But, you soon may have to watch out for the watchdogs.

FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan, non profit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. Will this come to CPG marketing as well? Maybe, if marketers continue to stretch the truth too far.

5. Mobile Mobilizes.

Obama’s campaign has made brilliant use of mobile apps, especially for the iPhone.

This may not mean much if you’re hawking softer toilet tissue or peddling whitening and brightening toothpaste.

But, if you’re doing a cause-related marketing campaign, you may find there’s no stronger tool in any medium.

If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, I strongly suggest you get the Obama app and study what it does well.

Lastly, if you care about America, please vote for the candidate of your choice.

It’s even more important than marketing 🙂




One response

31 10 2008

Nothing clever to add, Tom. Just a nice job on this.
Joe Hage

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