Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Was Obama a Marketing Genius?

Now that the political campaign dust has settled, let's take an inside look at the Barack Obama presidential campaign, from a marketing perspective. One of the fundamental aspects of a great marketing campaign is having a multi-faceted, layered marketing plan. A great marketing plan synthesizes and integrates several tactical layers. Let's take a look at what the Obama campaign implemented in the 2008 Presidential election:

1- A consistency of brand - the Obama identity, which was carried out with superb consistency (see below):

2- An effective positioning of the brand - "Hope." It struck an emotional chord. It conveyed his unique selling proposition (USP). It was available. He owned it.

3- Rich, fully developed back story, underneath it all - Obama's two books: The Audacity of Hope; Dreams from My Father. These works told the story in full detail.

4- Web - an unquestionably superb Web site

5- Grassroots engagement - how many yard signs, T-shirts and bumpers stickers did you see?

6- Earned media - 597,622 hits on Google's News search, as depicted on the Google Trends graphic below:

7- Advertising - did anyone see the Obama infomercial during election week?

8 - Social networking - the fact that Obama raised more money in the month of February 2008 than was raised ever before in any political campaign says it all. During that same month, he attended zero fundraiser events. In the words of his opposing campaign manager, "When Obama hit 1 million registered supporters on his Facebook group, we knew that the game had been changed ...that it was over," speaks volumes.

Regardless of whom you voted for, it is hard to dispute the fact that this was a genius marketing campaign. I say this in no way to diminish the man's success, his beliefs, his tactics ... or the outcome. Congratulations, President-Elect Obama!

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Blogger Jen said...

I couldn't agree with you more! This was a landmark campaign with engagement at all levels. Interactive electronic communication worked in ways that traditional grassroots campaigning couldn't. Walking down the magazine aisle of a grocery store, people could see Obama on the cover of many of the publications sitting on the racks. During a recent visit to Kroger's, a child pointed at one of the magazine covers and identified the President-Elect, "Obama!" He was probably not old enough to even be in school yet. I'm sure this child didn't know everything that went on in the campaign, but he did recognize Obama. His face, in many cases, was another integral part of this campaign.
Fast Company's article, "The Brand called Obama", from April also discussed this topic.

1:54 PM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


As usual, you have really added to the discussion. Thank you! And I'm glad to have the link to the FC article.


1:23 AM

Anonymous Jason Keeling said...

The New York Times has an interesting interview with the "O" campaign logo designer.

5:31 PM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Thanks for sharing this link. I look forward to checking it out! Very kind of you to add to the conversation!


11:35 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home