It’s the US presidential election today and we are seriously suffering from Obama/Romney fatigue here at Network Marketing Towers. I’m even watching a news special about it as I type this. But why are we so interested in who runs America? We don’t get this excited about elections in our close European neighbours – who knows who the Prime Minster of the Netherlands is, or France? (It’s Mark Rutte and Jean-Marc Ayrault by the way.) Is it because of the innate fascination with America nurtured by a lifetime of TV shows and films? Maybe it’s because an election that’s run on TV and social media in English is easy to report on and provides countless sound bites? To be honest, I watch it because of a kind of morbid fascination with the policies and a slight terror about the power that will be wielded by one of these 2 men. From a marketing point of view the election is interesting because of the incredible PR and advertising machines behind the campaigns.
Some reports say that over $6 billion has been spent on the campaigns so far. Spending on expensive TV advertising has taken up the bulk of this but they are also exploiting new digital channels. Obama’s successful grasp of social media was widely credited with helping his 2008 win and galvanizing a new group of voters to get involved. Social media is again a key part of both parties’ election strategies. In this election online advertising has also been used cleverly and extensively. Adverts are being developed to react to issues and take advantages as soon as they arise. Imagine having a $6 billion marketing budget? To put it into context, $6 billion is more than the gross domestic product of over 40 countries! What would you do? If you are interested, here’s a good summary of Obama and Romney’s policies by the BBC.