Practical Application of the 2008 American Presidential Election to Marketing Communications Presented by Jimi Awosika Wit...
A Week Before The Election… Over 150,000 invites had already been sent out to people for attendance at Obama’s victory add...
Few Days Before The Election… David Plouffe [then Obama’s Campaign Manager], commenting on Obama’s campaign future, reveal...
Three Days Before The Election… During the election, McCain was still campaigning in two states… while Obama had retired t...
Obama’s campaign team were ‘certain’ of victory…and had put things in place to prepare for this eventuality  Their attitud...
Why was this? Knowing that with people, you can never be too  sure
What Did ‘It’ For Obama? The Winning Formula
<ul><li>A Very Strong, Well Defined & Structured Strategy </li></ul>Clinical Disciplined Execution Style
Plotting Strategy
What Issues Were Identified? <ul><li>Inexperience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 years in the Senate when Obama announced his int...
<ul><li>Other top Democratic frontrunners [who were also a strong </li></ul><ul><li>part of the Democratic party establish...
The Political Landscape <ul><li>Public Opinion was beginning to turn against the Republicans </li></ul><ul><li>Approval ra...
Competitor Analysis Focus on the Two Front Runners
John Edwards & Hillary Clinton
Strengths  Had run in 2004 as Vice Presidential running mate with John Kerry Self-made millionaire An Attorney Very strong...
Draw Backs Weak fund raising capability and too far left Could John deliver the south, aside the primaries, in the overall...
Hillary Clinton
Great Orator Strong views on health care, social issues and foreign policy  Strong foreign policy credentials More importa...
… and finally <ul><li>She was Bill Clinton’s wife </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning: The Democratic Institution Was In Their H...
Perceived as a Washington Insider Some unproven cases of under-hand dealings Very entrenched opponents both within the Dem...
The Obama  Strategy
The Strategy  The Candidate  The Organization  The Message  The Style  Taking on Competition Getting Things Done
<ul><li>Build the message around Hope & Change; capturing everything in the one line:  “Yes, We Can !!” </li></ul><ul><li>...
Getting Things Done <ul><li>Build a strong team with all clearly defined roles; advisers to be advisers, strategist to be ...
Organization <ul><li>Build the base of support around the ordinary American both to ensure commitment and passion </li></u...
Taking on the Competition  <ul><li>Never play the underdog  </li></ul><ul><li>Stand sure footed on issues and project lead...
The Candidate  <ul><li>Exude Confidence, Leadership & Passion for the message   </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Drama </li></ul>
Disciplined Implementation of Strategy
Organization  <ul><li>Built a very strong field operation through the use of community organizers and volunteers by workin...
The Message <ul><li>They kept the message simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It was all about   Change and Hope  </li></ul></ul>...
Redrawing the Electoral Map <ul><li>All the same structures of the 50 states were kept in place, even after the primaries ...
Style
Style <ul><li>Link the style to the strategy  </li></ul><ul><li>Project Poise, Leadership, Forward-thinking and Measured r...
What are the Learnings from this?
Lessons To Note… <ul><li>Belief in your goals and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Winning Team that believes in thes...
Yes You Can !!!
<ul><li>Jimi Awosika is the Managing Director/CEO, Insight Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Franklin Ozekhome is the Head,...
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The Obama Strategy

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The Obama Strategy: Practical Application of the 2008 American Presidential Election to Marketing Communications

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The Obama Strategy

  1. 1. Practical Application of the 2008 American Presidential Election to Marketing Communications Presented by Jimi Awosika With Franklin Ozekhome
  2. 2. A Week Before The Election… Over 150,000 invites had already been sent out to people for attendance at Obama’s victory address The venue had already been selected; security details put in place…
  3. 3. Few Days Before The Election… David Plouffe [then Obama’s Campaign Manager], commenting on Obama’s campaign future, revealed on ABC News that they had devised 6 routes for winning the electoral votes… … And Obama’s victory speech had already been prepared weeks in advance
  4. 4. Three Days Before The Election… During the election, McCain was still campaigning in two states… while Obama had retired to watch the poll results after voting, already assured of victory
  5. 5. Obama’s campaign team were ‘certain’ of victory…and had put things in place to prepare for this eventuality Their attitude was that of ‘we know WE WILL WIN’
  6. 6. Why was this? Knowing that with people, you can never be too sure
  7. 7. What Did ‘It’ For Obama? The Winning Formula
  8. 8. <ul><li>A Very Strong, Well Defined & Structured Strategy </li></ul>Clinical Disciplined Execution Style
  9. 9. Plotting Strategy
  10. 10. What Issues Were Identified? <ul><li>Inexperience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 years in the Senate when Obama announced his intention to run for the presidency </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Race </li></ul><ul><li>- African-American? </li></ul><ul><li>- African?? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Black??? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Mixed???? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Not American???? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Other top Democratic frontrunners [who were also a strong </li></ul><ul><li>part of the Democratic party establishment] were identified </li></ul>America – the Nation-though scared of Internal security - became war weary <ul><li>John Edwards & Hillary Clinton </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Political Landscape <ul><li>Public Opinion was beginning to turn against the Republicans </li></ul><ul><li>Approval ratings for the current President were dropping dramatically </li></ul><ul><li>It was clear that 2008 was going to be the year for the Democrats </li></ul>
  13. 13. Competitor Analysis Focus on the Two Front Runners
  14. 14. John Edwards & Hillary Clinton
  15. 15. Strengths Had run in 2004 as Vice Presidential running mate with John Kerry Self-made millionaire An Attorney Very strong debater Strong speaker Powerful orator Seen as strong with labour unions and labour issues so he was seen as far left
  16. 16. Draw Backs Weak fund raising capability and too far left Could John deliver the south, aside the primaries, in the overall elections ? Hails from North Carolina, a Republican bastion
  17. 17. Hillary Clinton
  18. 18. Great Orator Strong views on health care, social issues and foreign policy Strong foreign policy credentials More importantly the leading light for the Democrats; and a near-appointed democratic spokesperson in congress Strong Debater Her Strengths Highly focused; popular with the party’s liberals and moderates; strong democratic base Former First Lady
  19. 19. … and finally <ul><li>She was Bill Clinton’s wife </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning: The Democratic Institution Was In Their Hands </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Perceived as a Washington Insider Some unproven cases of under-hand dealings Very entrenched opponents both within the Democratic and Republican parties Her Draw Backs
  21. 21. The Obama Strategy
  22. 22. The Strategy The Candidate The Organization The Message The Style Taking on Competition Getting Things Done
  23. 23. <ul><li>Build the message around Hope & Change; capturing everything in the one line: “Yes, We Can !!” </li></ul><ul><li>Make the message simple and inspirational </li></ul><ul><li>Connect with mainstream America </li></ul>The Message Strategy <ul><li>Avoid message coloration to keep the fidelity of the message </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be abusive </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid drama with the message </li></ul>
  24. 24. Getting Things Done <ul><li>Build a strong team with all clearly defined roles; advisers to be advisers, strategist to be strategist, organizers to be organizers…all should talk to each other but one person speaks for the ticket and that’s the candidate </li></ul><ul><li>- In effect, make the Candidate the Message </li></ul>
  25. 25. Organization <ul><li>Build the base of support around the ordinary American both to ensure commitment and passion </li></ul>Use both conventional and new technology to ensure connection and information flow
  26. 26. Taking on the Competition <ul><li>Never play the underdog </li></ul><ul><li>Stand sure footed on issues and project leadership and respect </li></ul><ul><li>Build the field organization from primaries to the general election </li></ul><ul><li>Be ready for a long drawn battle </li></ul><ul><li>Restructure the electoral map and break the myth of toss-up states </li></ul>
  27. 27. The Candidate <ul><li>Exude Confidence, Leadership & Passion for the message </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Drama </li></ul>
  28. 28. Disciplined Implementation of Strategy
  29. 29. Organization <ul><li>Built a very strong field operation through the use of community organizers and volunteers by working with a database of current and new voters </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged new voters registration by exciting apathetic voters, disaffected youths, blacks and Hispanics </li></ul><ul><li>Use of mobile banking, internet and SMS to reach out to this people consistently </li></ul><ul><li>Made an early strike: winning Iowa was critical for the strategy. Prioritizing & wining Iowa to set the tone for the election; build traction and momentum </li></ul>
  30. 30. The Message <ul><li>They kept the message simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It was all about Change and Hope </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The message was dynamic enough to take any shift; Iraq, politics etc </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency of message and delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation of the message was without any drama </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He came out like a man who had his eyes on the ball </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A pair of steady hands </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For message delivery they avoided the use of surrogates. There was the message & Obama – one single entity. The message was ‘ Obama ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Everything had to be linked to the message; including his style. The style has to fit his strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Engage endorsers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But not be linked to their posture on politics </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Redrawing the Electoral Map <ul><li>All the same structures of the 50 states were kept in place, even after the primaries </li></ul><ul><li>Obama kept resources in every state, building support & creating pressure even in Republican states </li></ul><ul><li>The number of swing states were increased – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where demographics have changed, especially middle & low-income class – youths, blacks, Hispanics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>States that had serious economic and employment issues </li></ul><ul><li>States that had disaffected and apathetic voters; that didn’t appear on the Republican radar </li></ul><ul><li>Serious massive voter exercise was encouraged </li></ul><ul><li>Early voting was encouraged – state wise – because of the fickle nature of the disaffected new registered voters </li></ul>
  32. 32. Style
  33. 33. Style <ul><li>Link the style to the strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Project Poise, Leadership, Forward-thinking and Measured restraint </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid brick bats </li></ul><ul><li>Be generous & charitable to opponents and losers </li></ul><ul><li>Build consensus - but Lead! </li></ul><ul><li>Project Youth, Vibrancy, Passion & New Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Make the style the ‘hallmark’ of the candidate “OBAMA” </li></ul>
  34. 34. What are the Learnings from this?
  35. 35. Lessons To Note… <ul><li>Belief in your goals and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Winning Team that believes in these goals & objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Delegate tasks and assign responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>The team must develop fresh new ideas and strategies to beat and consistently outsmart the competition </li></ul><ul><li>They should pursue and selflessly implement these ideas and strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an IDEA in your communication that is consistent, relevant and believable, and that people will readily buy into </li></ul>
  36. 36. Yes You Can !!!
  37. 37. <ul><li>Jimi Awosika is the Managing Director/CEO, Insight Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Franklin Ozekhome is the Head, New Business & Brand Management, Insight Communications </li></ul>

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