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Obama - Best Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign in 2008

Obama - Best Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign in 2008

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Published by Lance Shields

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Published by: Lance Shields on Apr 02, 2011
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Best Integrated Marketing Communications Campaign in 2008
Marketing Communications – Term Paper Lance Shields 
My Nomination
I wholeheartedly and without hesitation nominate the campaign of presidential candidateBarack Obama for best integrated marketing communications campaign in 2008. On firstconsideration for this paper, choosing a company or product for best IMC campaign madesense. But in 2008, an underdog brand, an African-American, a first-term Democratic senator,and a politician chosen as most liberal in Congress at a time when rightwing politics reigned,Obama ignited the country and won the election with what I believe was the bestcommunications campaign of the year and possibly one of the best political campaigns in U.S.history. And like any powerful brand, this paper will attempt to show through the one-thirdprinciple approach how Obama’s campaign succeeded to win the minds and hearts of Americans.
Obama - The Brand
What are the values of the brand advertised and what was the goal of the campaign? Does the campaign target the appropriate for the brand audience and how can this audience be profiled?
Nike, Coca Cola, Obama. What do these three share? Clearly these three are brands that havebeen shown to have brand loyalty surpassing the majority of products, companies or humanbrands not only in the U.S. but throughout the world. By looking at Barack Obama as a brand,we can ask what are the values of the brand advertised. This must start with the values of theindividual and extend to the leader. As an individual, Obama has been known to be liberal,interested in civil rights, Christian, well educated (a Harvard law graduate) and an engagedcommunity organizer. One could say his personal brand values revolve around integrity, racialjustice, truthfulness, directness, intelligence and freedom. These brand values form the base inwhich U.S. citizens perceive the man Obama. On top of these was built the brand image of Obama the potential leader and president of America. The top five brand attributes of Obamathe President in surveys
done in 2008 and 2009 (with little change) were: 1. intelligent, 2.
liberal, 3. inspiring, 4. progressive, and 5. good. These attributes, whether planned or not, havebeen conveyed to the public and I believe have been key to Obama’s brand messagethroughout the campaign.Obama, as an underdog brand faced many challenges in the months leading up to hiselection. The goals I believe the Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod must have set wereto overcome the inherent racism of Americans to choose an African-American president, toappeal to Americans’ sense of doing what is right to make liberal change happen (universalhealth care, being a leader in the green industry, withdrawing from Iraq, etc.), and get younger,normally unengaged people out to vote for him.In choosing a target appropriate for the Obama brand, as just mentioned, the Obamateam went after the younger 20-30s public that previously felt unrepresented in the issues of past leaders such as George Bush. This audience could be profiled as disillusioned by war andblatant capitalism, environmentally minded, heavy users of social media, well educated,moderate to liberal, morally minded and ready for a change. The messaging and media neededto be planned and crafted to attract and recruit this dormant crowd and unleash their enthusiasm for a new kind of government.
Creative Strategy for Change
Does the campaign uniquely and clearly communicate the brand values? Does the campaign take a creativeapproach that no other brand (at least in the category the brand competes) has taken? What are the creative and executional elements of that make it unique?
Obama's campaign used the slogan "Change we can believe in" and the chant "Yes We Can".“The campaign's remarkable consistency is the real accomplishment. Across towns, counties,states -- and with thousands of volunteers, no less -- across multiple media platforms, they'vemanaged to drive a potent, single-minded design and messaging coherence that should shamemany national brands”,
said Brian Collins, founder of experiential branding firm Collins.With this consistency comes a vibrant, young and cool campaign all built around the idea of 

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