Monday, August 11, 2008

OnlineSpin: Obamapalooza

Last week Kendall Allen wrote "Don't Say New: Digital Delivers On What We are Calling 'Social Media."'

Chris Wilde wrote in response, "I agree.

I definitely see a trend in some sites giving more respect and control to Web consumers.

I think this noticeably improves the value of content to the reader, quickly breeding brand acceptance and sales."

Steve Veith wrote, "Kendall, very insightful and extremely well written piece.

ItÂ's evident that you speak from a wealth of personal experience.

I would love to hear (read) your thoughts on how SM plays in the B2B space.

Thank you."

Monday, August 11, 2008
By Seana Mulcahy

It doesn't matter whom I intend to vote for. I think I told you the story before. I was raised in a strict Irish Catholic family in an affluent Boston suburb. The dinner table was the place to talk politics and religion. It was our family mandate that we don't talk about it elsewhere.

Skip to the next scene. Thirty or so years later (after my entrée into understanding politics and religion) I'm a media person by trade, a writer and blogger for one of the most outspoken liberal groups of people there are.
Coupled with. I am adjunct faculty at Emerson College in Boston. When teaching media I tell my students that they represent one of the most ad-adverse yet coveted audiences. Some get the concept right off the bat, whereas some others never do. Their age group largely falls under the name of Millennials. They consume media hard and fast on just about any screen they can get their hands on. They have no fear when it comes to technology, as they were raised with it.

However, they say they hate the bulk of advertising. Sidebar: Meanwhile they are all majoring in advertising, public relations or marketing communications. They want to be change agents, and will be.

So whether you target this group, are of this age, have a child who is or an employee of this age, you know how they are. They are the "i" Generation... iMac, iPod, iPhone. They use sound bytes in conversation and communication and often speak like an IM or an away message. They use industry lingo like "LOL" in an in-person conversation. I've written detailed stats and facts about this group before, so I won't dig deeper here.

Just think of the power and influence of this generation as it relates to our world and to media at large. Then think politics. My generation was the target of the original MTV "Rock the Vote" campaign. Everyone knew younger folks didn't care much about voting. Put a famous pop star like Madonna in an ad telling you to vote, and it sure made a difference.

Back to present day. There is still a problem in the U.S. getting kids to vote. MTV (and its partners and affiliates) remains a media mainstay. However, there are many other media and communications options from the Web to instant messaging to texting to blogging and virtual worlds...the list goes on.

The Obama campaign gets this. As noted in a recent Ad Age article , "Perhaps inevitably, among the first apps introduced for Apple's new iPhone -- the latest success from another millennial mass marketer -- was an Obama Countdown to Change calendar that ticks off the seconds until Election Day."

So what's the appeal? His message speaks their language -- a bit edgy and sometimes a quip. It's in the right places like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook to name a few. He's also got a seemingly endless group of young people as brand ambassadors seen city by city, town by town -- and in my neighborhood, ringing the doorbell.

Whether they know it or not Obama is a high-end brand to this target audience. As quoted in Ad Age, Newsweek's Andrew Romano, notes "Obama is the first presidential candidate to be marketed like a high-end consumer brand."

Just take a look at his rising sun logo. Many say it cuts through the clutter and can stand the test of time like Pepsi or Coke. Or take a look at the site Even the URL personalizes the brand.
So kudos to the folks behind these efforts. Regardless of who wins, this is history in the making.

Online Spin for Monday, August 11, 2008:

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