Soundview Executive Book Summaries

The President-elect’s E-brand
December 4, 2008, 4:22 PM
Filed under: Marketing | Tags: ,

President-elect Barack Obama will be possibly the most Web-savvy president that the United States has ever seen when he takes office in January 2009. His Blackberry has always been by his side (though according to this article, the nature of the office of the President of the United States may force Obama to shelve his smartphone for the next 4-8 years), and  when Obama broadcast the weekly Democratic radio address in mid-November, it was also videotaped and archived on YouTube.


Furthermore, Obama and his team also understand the importance of marketing. Before he even won the election, Ad Age magazine selected Obama as marketer of the year for 2008. How many presidents can you name that have been given such an award?


To help shed some light on Obama’s Web and marketing savvy is a new ebook that has recently been published by Barry Silverstein, titled Obama Online: How eBranding Helped Win the Presidency. Silverstein looks at how Obama’s campaign was able to use “eBranding,” a term he uses to describe how Obama created “a personal online identity that generally includes the use of social networks and other one-to-one relationship media.”


According to Silverstein, no other campaign has ever used such an intricate blend of traditional and online marketing. He writes, “The use of digital media in particular brought politcal marketing to an entirely new level. The Obama campaign broke the mold, and in so doing, helped a relative newcomer to national politics win the presidency.” The book examines the campaign’s use of e-mail, mobile and viral marketing, Web sites, social networking, online advertising, and branding, and even video games. Yes, that’s right. According to Silverstein, “The Obama campaign also placed the first presidential campaign ads in 18 online video games through the Xbox Live Service, in an effort to target 18- to 34-year old males.” Now there’s an eye for detail.


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