Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Can Marketers Learn Something from the Obama Campaign?

Last month, I wrote about an article in the New York Times Magazine that looked at McCain's campaign from a messaging perspective. Check it out here: New York Times Magazine Article Looks at McCain's Campaign: The Making (and Remaking and Remaking) of the Candidate -- fascinating. I still think it's an interesting look at the McCain campaign.

Jon Fine, media critic at BusinessWeek makes some interesting, contrarian points in his recent column, "Marketing Lessons from Obama's Campaign: Why the winning Presidential strategy, though remarkable, won't sell yogurt, cars, or virtually any other consumer product."

Namely, "a candidate's brief is much different from a product's. Coke may seek to get drinkers of other sodas to try its wares once, or try them again, because in mature categories your gains come only at your competitor's expense. Not so in politics, wherein you do three thins: build awareness, turn on (and turn out) supporters and try to sway undecideds."

To target undecideds, political campaigns generally launch negative ads, which most consumer products avoid.

Fine makes some good points, as usual.

But the Times article also makes some good points. Read 'em both.

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