Barack Obama's Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG211
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2008-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : -
Industry : -
Countries : US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

They also contributed small sums which added up to a substantial amount for the campaign, thanks to the sheer number of contributors. Obama also had a dedicated website called "FighttheSmears" with the sole aim of addressing and combating any false accusations about himself as and when they appeared. The entire campaign was well structured to project a consistent image of Obama and every action taken by the campaigners was well thought out. Experts believed that Obama used the Internet with skill, efficiency, and care and his labor had borne fruit in the form of his victory. David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, was the one who maintained all campaign communications and kept a tab on information releases.

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In his acceptance speech, Obama said, "To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done."5

Obama ended his victory speech with the following words: "This is our time, to put our people back to work, and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America".6 Analysts felt that Obama's innovative campaign had not only helped overcome some potentially debilitating barriers on his way to the White House, but also firmly established him as a strong brand.

So much so that lawyers in the White House were mulling copyrighting 'Brand Obama' to curb misuse of the brand to promote goods, etc., considering the global fascination for the US's first African American President.7 According to marketing expert John Quelch, the campaign was nothing short of a "case study in marketing excellence".8 At the same time, analysts were keeping a close watch to see to what extent (and in what ways) Obama would fulfill his pre-election promise of remaining in touch with the people.

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5] David Plouffe: Obama Campaign Manager,", November 5, 2008.
6] Transcript: 'This is Your Victory,' Says Obama,", November 4, 2008.
7] White House to Copyright Brand Obama,", February 3, 2009.
8] John Quelch, "How Better Marketing Elected Barack Obama,", November 5, 2008.


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