The Obama campaign breathed new media. Not only did it use the internet more than any other candidate, the digital marketing campaign effort rivald, and possibly outperformed, anything ever produced by a traditional corporation. Design, user-generated content , Twitter, YouTube–every base was covered by the Obama campaign.
Social Networking – My.BarackObama.com: The centerpiece of Obama’s new media campaign was MyBarackObama, or MyBO. Users could join local groups, create events, sign up for updates, and set up personal fundraising pages. Simliar to SETI, MyBO solves the daunting task of making millions of phone calls or sending emails by breaking up the list into small enough chunks that a supporter can handle individually. via MIT Tech Review
Brand Identity/Web Design – BarackObama.com: the campaign used the font Gotham. Every communication used Gotham (signs, website, commercials, pins, pamphelts), a level of consistency that even corporate marketing campaigns hardly acheive. It was originally designed for GQ magazine–so it’s a slick, straight-forward font. Via Newsweek.
Mobile Marketing – supporters could sign up for text message updates, including Obama’s VP choice.
YouTube Channel – The Obama campaign started on YouTube in September 2006. To date, they posted 1822 videos (McCain posted 330).
Blog – The Obama blog posted updates daily. RSS was available.
Twitter – Obama is the most followed user on Twitter, with 126,000 followers. Oddly, he reciprocally follows his fans, following 130,000 users himself.
Facebook, MySpace -like other candidates, Obama was on Facebook and Myspace. He outperformed his opponents in performance, however, by several magnitudes.
Voter-generated Content – This is what every marketing manager desires–your customers carrying your message for you. User-generated content proliferated for Obama during his campaign:
- “Don’t Let Your Friend Lose The Election” Video – Moveon.org created an innovative, though trite use of customized video. A fake news show tells you it’s your fault for losing the election for Obama. It was viewed over 21 million times.
- Black-Eyed Peas “Yes We Can” Music Video – Viewed over 15 million times.
- Look Familiar? This was not created, nor supported by the Obama campaign, but rather independantly designed by Shepard Fairey.
Pretty overwhelming, right? Obama’s campaign produced an incredibly integrated campaign, supported by several channels to communicate his message and connect with his base. Much has been written about the overall marketing strategy; I recommend “Marketing lessons from the US election” by Seth Godin.