9 Things a Brand can Learn from Barack Obama’s Online Campaign

An election is the most crucial phase for any democracy in the world. But Americans, as they always do, make it look cool and larger than life. Online platforms played a major role in positioning the Brand Obama and raising money for his campaign.

Here are 9 things that your brand can learn from the online pursuits of Obama’s 2012 election campaign.

Give priority to social platforms

The biggest reason for the Barack Obama tweet becoming the most retweeted tweet ever was the timing. He chose to update his Facebook page and his Twitter account first as soon as the official announcement was made. This happened well before the news channels got the official update. The feeling of I-told-you-this-first amongst his followers, got him so many retweets.

Segregate your target audience and have a plan for each one of them

One major difference between Romney and Obama’s approach towards this campaign was targeting the Latino, African- American, Asian and the LGBT community. That difference was certainly visible on social media platforms as seen in the images below.

Barack Obama also posted a video in spanish which had a phenomenal impact. The comment section of the video says it all. He also got a number of celebrities to endorse the same message to the Latino community.

Book all URL’s

I saw at least 15 locations booked in the form of  Facebook pages, Twitter handles and micro-sites by Obama’s team.  A number of URLs like www.dinnerwithbarack.com and contribute.barackobama.com led to the same page. One of the smart moves was to book www.romneyecomonics.com and control what is posted on that page, obviously in the democrats favour.

Videos work!

A long term video strategy will always work well for your brand. Team Obama also focused on creating good video content way before the campaign. Other than posting President Obama’s inspiring speeches, they posted videos of staunch Obama followers, picked up from every community. A very good storyline was built up for posting ‘Dinner with Barack Obama’ events. A testimonial video supporting every positive claim he made was posted on the channel.


Share the story

People connect better with your brand if they know the brand’s story better. Biography videos were created for Barack Obama taking people through his life, his hardships and his achievements.  This video was made during the 2008 campaign; however it was still making rounds during the 2012 campaign. Every brand has a story, take some effort to make a video out of it and share it with people, or at least update the Facebook timeline with the important events of the history of the brand!

Even brand Obama required inorganic push

Did you notice the ad running in the above video? Even a brand as big as Barack Obama felt the need of inorganic push for a campaign that would anyways  got a lot of buzz and attention. A number of promoted tweets slots, Facebook ads slots and google ads were booked throughout the campaign to ensure 100% coverage of what THEY WANT TO COMMUNICATE to people. Your brand might be well spoken about; however, people might not be taking about it the way you want.

What’s in it for them?

Dinner with Barack Obama was a fantastic lure to get people from working class to contribute for the election campaign. Much like KBC does back here in India! It gives the common man a reason to participate with a small sum. I wonder how many CEO’s here in India will give a away their time for an online campaign to get the best contribution from the masses, which may be in form of brand advocacy instead of monetary contributions.

Crowdsourcing is good!

I have a noticed a number of brand managers disqualifying their customers opinions on social platforms which can help the brand, due to a self-centered belief that they know the brand better. Check out this video which got the 2008 election campaign “Fired up” and was used effectively by Team Obama in 2012 also. The moral of the story is that the audiences’ acceptance for a brand promotion idea will be much higher for a crowdsourced idea, if it is used effectively.

Keep it short and simple

And last but not the least; I loved the way it all ended. With just three words, and it happened to have create as much impact as the long speeches and the unending debates. FOUR MORE YEARS!!

There are certainly more than 9 things that I’d like to learn from you all :) Do Share you share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.