In part five, I take a look how Obama is getting out the vote and viral advertising.
I’ve decided to change this post slightly from what I described earlier. I’d like to focus purely on Obama and his various websites and viral advertising.
The first time I had ever heard of the term ‘viral advertising’ was when will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas came out with the Yes We Can music video. We discussed it extensively in my Advertising course. One thing is true, when advertising is done independant of the candidate it is very good. That’s why ‘Swift Boat Veterans’ were effective in attacking Kerry because it wasn’t Dubya saying these things, it was an independant source. It also works for ads supporting a candidate, such as the Yes We Can video. This video highlights Obama’s great oratory skills and the particular cadence that is very effective with his speaking. I also took Public Speaking last semester and learned that your speaking ability has a lot to do with the silence/pacing you use. Obama definitely has this nailed. I guess you could compare it to how smooth-talking Clinton was. I heard a comedian say recently “You know, Clinton could say ‘I am not here'” and you would think “he’s right, he’s not here.”
Another viral website that was started from four guys not even part of the Obama campaign. The website was designed so well that I actually believed it WAS by the Obama campaign. This website takes advantage of the beautiful design and branding of the Obama campaign and allows visitors to carve Barack-o-lanterns with various campaign imagery on it and submit photos of the lanterns to their blog. Now imagine for a moment someone started “Maverick-o-Lantern.com” What stencils could they provide? A picture of mccain’s face? That wouldn’t work, all those wrinkles would cause your pumpkin to fall apart if you carved that… But I digress. I carved a Barack-O-Lantern and posted it to their website. Mine is found here.
The remaining items are all paid for by the Obama campaign.
This website was started a few months back when the primary season ended and Obama knew McCain would be on the attack. It basically takes rumors or attacks by McCain or other sources and gives the facts about each ‘smear’. This is effective in that ‘setting the record straight’ isn’t being done on the main campaign website, because if it was, it would seem that Obama is all about dispelling fear and not about the real issues. In this case he can do both at the same time, but keep his main website as place to learn about Obama’s stances on issues. On FighttheSmears.com, one can sign up for email updates on various smears.
Under The Radar
This website is a subdomain (radar.barackobama.com), but treated as it’s own website, with a very different design from the main campaign website. This site goes a step further than Fight the Smears does. This website lets users submit various attacks that are being launched at very local levels (direct mail, etc). The website gives you an interactive map and allows you see where various attacks are being done. This and the previous website does very good job of showing the numerous attempts to suppress support, and can only look bad for McCain.
I registered to vote in Kirksville via this website. It gives visitors a step by step process to fill out info and then it generates a PDF with your info filled in and then you can print, sign and turn it in. I almost forgot to turn it in, but the deadline day, October 8th, I received a robo-call from Michelle Obama reminding me to turn in my form.
Cell Phones and the iPhone
Obama announced his VP pick through text-messaging – although it was leaked hours before sending the message, most people first found out about it from a text message, because it was announced at midnight the night before. Obama even has an iPhone App. I don’t have an iPhone, but would assume that this App is very effective. Any iPhone owners have thoughts on the App?
Video Game Ads
I had no idea that you could advertise in video games, but Obama has done so. Obama has placed billboard ads in nine XBox360 games in ten swing states. Even one more way that he is targeting the 18-30 year old crowd. I won’t be suprised to see my potato chips having political ads in the next presidential election. Picture this: ‘”Vote Palin 2012″ on your chips. Her slogan on the chips can be “Chew on this: I’m just a regular hockey mom”
In part six, I will look at the use of the web in the final days of the election and the results of the election.