Barack Hussein Obama has been elected the 44th president of the United States of America. And all right-thinking people all around the world can rejoice. But Obama’s win is more than just a political victory. It’s also a vindication of what can happen when you assign a decent budget to a decent marketing strategy.
Let’s face it: the marketing machine behind Obama was a juggernaut. According to the Media Analysis Group of TNS Media Intelligence, Obama spent $280 million (okay, so it’s more than a “decent” budget) on TV advertising alone. But it was through his campaign’s targeted use of social marketing media that Obama proved his skill at building a community, of uniting people behind a single ideal – pulling them in and connecting with his constituency through sincere and hopeful messages. And this was the knockout-punch that McCain didn’t see coming.
The social-media campaign was targeted. It included branded mini-sites, my.barackobama.com (linked to FaceBook) and more online presences that were aimed at different socio-economic groups. It included downloadable content from widgets and ringtones to wallpaper and Youtube videos. And he kept his message single-minded throughout his campaign: “change” and blew it out through all channels. Most importantly, he engaged the American public at all levels: sought them out, spoke to them and listened to them. There are a lot of brands in the corporate world that could do well to learn from this example.
The election of Obama has done the public image of America the world of good. For a long time the nation has been regarded as hypocritical, accused of talking the talk and not walking the walk. The election of Obama is the turning point and a confirmation that the ideals of the American dream did not perish under the heel of rampant cynicism.
Barack Obama is a brand for our time. He’s the incarnation of his message. In fact, Barack Obama has become synonymous with the word “change” and if the way he ran his campaign is anything to go by, it’s a strong hint that the Obama-consumer experience may actually live up to the Obama-brand promise.
Good luck Mr Obama. We’re glad you made it.