Category Archives: US Presidential 2008

Plumbing and Politics

obama and plumberNo, you’re eyes don’t decieve you.  This is the most tenuous bastardisation of Obama’s campaign yet.  The advertisement for plumbing, guttering and decay repair (amongst others) came through my front door this morning.  It is particularly amusing given the deployment of ‘Joe the Plumber’ by John McCain as an example of how Obama’s economic policies would be to the detriment of small business.

David Cameron has aluded to the tedium of the every political party, business, man and his dog trying to learn the lessons of Obama’s success.  That having been said, on Thursday night I went to a really good event featuring Matthew McGregor (of Blue State Digital) and Tom Miller on the very subject of learning online lessons from across the pond, hosted by Compass.

They rightly highlighted that a central aim of political communication via the internet is to provoke an action from the reciever.  Be it to donate money, time or simply to pass it on to a friend.  The concept of advertising  – political or not – being an active process is not a new one.  But few organisations have genuinely internalised the fact that the internet enables immediate reaction and that therefore a siginificant part of any online message should be prompting such an instant response.

If you’ve reached this post via a search engine and are looking for a West London handyman, I’d hate for your first visit to be a disappointment:

West London Handyman, political chit-chat not included.

West London Handyman, political chit-chat not included.

Best Political Adverts of the 2008 Presidential Election

US pollster Mark Penn conducted a survey of politico’s for some ‘readers awards’ for the 2008 US Presidential election.  The winners were decided on the basis of  475 votes cast by the subscribers of Politics Magazine.  Here are the tv political advertisements that won gold, silver and bronze in the catergory of Best TV Spot of 2008 in the US Presidential Election: 

 1st – Hilary Clinton, 3 a.m

2nd – Barack Obama, Moment

3rd – John McCain, Celebrity

When Brands and Politicians Combine

A pick of the best recent brand advertisments that use politicians in their communication.  Not political advertising as such, more like advertising with politicians.  First up, Ben and Jerry’s jump on the Obama brand bandwagon (thanks to Adam for this one):

Ben and Jerry's take on 'Yes we can'

Ben and Jerry's take on 'Yes we can'

 

On the day that George Bush left office, Veet (a hair removal product) placed this advertisment in the Metro to say goodbye:

Great copy and brilliant media planning.

Great copy and brilliant media planning.

Virgin Active try to lighten up Westminster:

It'll take more than a treadmill or two to lighten up Westminster

It'll take more than a treadmill or two to lighten up Westminster

Who’d win in an election, Obama or Spiderman?

Obama v.s Spiderman

Obama v.s Spiderman

This is not political advertising as this edition of the comic was commissioned by Marvel not Obama’s team. 

 

However, this is an example of what many advertising agencies are starting to think about with regards to their brands.  As people become more difficult to reach through traditional means, making creative, fictional content which people will actively pursue (that features the brand in some respect at the core) will become an increasingly desirable avenue for advertisers (including political parties).

 

For example of a production agency who are doing just this sort of work for brands check out www.upset.tv

The dominance of the irrational

Political campaign guru Evan Tracey has compiled a playlist of videos and analysis from throughout the Obama vs McCain campaign that is well worth a look at.

The above video came from Tracey’s playlist and is an example of the sort of emotive advertising, that I mentioned earlier in the week, was badly needed in UK political communication. Brian Donahue just a wrote a very interesting piece on political advertising and emotion that is definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in this stuff, the crux of this thoughts are that:

“Emotional appeals almost always trump rational appeals when attempting to gain political support or create negative views about an opponent. Voters are more apt to create positive or negative feelings about an issue or candidate through emotions and sentiments rather than rational or logical arguments”



Visit Alaska!

Isolated wilderness, wonderful landscapes...prospective Presidential candidates...

Isolated wilderness, wonderful landscapes...prospective Presidential candidates...

Sarah Palin is being used as a marketing tool for Travel Alaska! This is a very shrewd move both from the tourism board of Alaska as well as those keen for a Palin presidential push in 2012.

It’s good for Travel Alaska: in the month after her nomination was announced, response to direct mail was up 20%.  And it’s very good for Palin because it’ll get her into households across America without any political baggage, and for free!

Travel Alaska keeping her as their brand ambassador post-election reminds me of Virgin Mobile keeping Kate Moss in their adverts immediately after the exposure of her white powder (not snowy Alaskan mountain tops…) indulgences.  Such a public “we’re still with you”, done at the right time can draw a line in the sand and propel the ambassador and the brand to even greater heights.

Let the issue be the issue

Let issue be the issue
Let the issue be the issue
In this poster, put up in Manhattan on the eve of poll, Barck Obama is turned into a white man and John McCain is made black.  The poster is designed to make the electorate focus on policy and not race.  This style of photographic manipulation has been used by the ‘Kick racism out of football’ campaign in the UK and always powerfully relates the futility of those that judge people on the basis of their skin.  A fantastic poster and hopefully an effectual one.

The YouTube Election

The YouTube Election

The YouTube Election

There’s been a load of articles in the last few days about the US Election being the first YouTube election.  Here’s a particularly good one with reference to the situation in the UK by Noelle McElhatton. 

UK political parties are so far behind their American counterparts in many facets of marketing, but particular with regards to digital.  We’ve yet to experience a truly internet influenced election.  I recently wrote a research paper on the online campaigns of candidates in The Labour Party’s Deputy Leadership election of 2007 (if you’d like a copy drop me a comment); essentially the findings were ‘could do significantly better’ .  Use of video clips was minimal on campaign sites, YouTube was virtually empty of content and a few candidates sites were barely updated throughout the campaign.

I’ll be amazed (but delighted!) if, come the next general election in the UK, I’ll have a quarter as much content to be able to refer to as I’ve had for Obama vs McCain.