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Posted on Nov 7, 2012 in Branding, Creativity, Graphic Design, Leadership

The Real Reason Barack Obama won in 2012 and 2008

For those of you hoping to find some kind of right-wing conspiracy, this will not be the post for you.

I don’t want to downplay the significance of what happened yesterday or what is going on in our country. There are serious issues that need serious answers. But, I just want to offer my perception on a big reason President Obama was re-elected.

It’s all about branding.

Before you close this tab and go back to your browsing, hear me out.

If I asked you to summarize the Obama campaign in one word, what would you say. And no, I don’t mean your interpretation of the campaign, I mean what they centered their campaign around. What would the word be? Chances are pretty good that we all know the answer. Forward.

Think about the news coverage you saw of the president on the campaign trail. You definitely saw people in the crowd holding up signs with Forward on it.

Now flip the question, what was the one word the Romney campaign used? What was their slogan? What signs were people at the campaign rallies holding up. Yes they have a cool logo, but it doesn’t really say anything. Other than that, you can’t really find the one thing they wanted people to remember and know about them.

And as simple as it sounds, I think that’s the reason Obama won. I know there are issues that people believe in and voted for yesterday. But, we live in a time where we buy the things that have the best, simplest, easiest to remember advertising. And people could easily remember the Obama campaign and what they were trying to communicate.

In fact, we all remember what they ran on in 2008. Hope. Change.

They had a message, and they stuck to it everywhere they went. I can’t think of anything that the McCain campaign ran

on. Yes, I could go look it up, but I shouldn’t need to. For a company that spends Billions of dollars on advertising over a 3-6 month period, we should be able to remember what their slogan was.

The Romney campaign changed their slogan and logo and look almost everywhere they went. They had Victory in Ohio, Believe in America, Real change – day one, Real Recovery, Victory in Florida, Victory in Iowa, We can’t afford four more years, Romney Plan, Putting Jobs first and more.

At the end of the day, for the millions of people who don’t get that involved in politics to try to discover what each candidate is all about, the most memorable campaign will win. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’m telling you, if the Romney Campaign were to have better branding, we’d probably be having a different discussion today.

 

 

 

  • This is a great post and a really good observation! Obama and the Democratic Party has now won over a generation of voters. I think the branding gave them a new reputation and a positive perspective.

    Hopefully, the Republican Party realizes that they need to change their image and realize how the people are viewing them now.

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