Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's Infomercial

(Poll has been closed--thanks for your comments)

Hey West Michigan Ad/PR pros, students, and consumers of media: I am interested in your opinion about Obama's infomercial, set to air tonight. This will be a first in presidential campaigns.

Put your partisanship in check, and let me know your thoughts of the communication effectiveness of the ad, based on message, format, timing or whatever. If you want to explain your answer, add a comment to this blog post.

5 comments:

Derek said...

I think that the infomercial was very successful overall for a couple of reasons:

First, as an advertisement it repackaged Obama's talking points in an attractive way (through narrative), and presented a visual portrayal of someone who looked very presidential. Though he was criticized for appearing pompous by shooting some of the segments from an office (that evokes the image of the Oval Office); perception informs our behavior and making him look presidential inclines people to support him. It also reinforced his biography to help provide a bulwark against the personal attacks the McCain campaign and its surrogates have been relying almost solely on.

Second, and more importantly, it was a deft move PR-wise; for a paltry $4 million it allowed Obama to control an entire night of election coverage less than a week before the election.

Not only did coverage of the Obama infomercial monopolize the newscasts and analysis shows (I'm betting many programs even aired footage from the infomercial), it took control of the evening's dialog away from the McCain campaign and relegated them to a defensive / responsive role (thereby squashing any message they might have been trying to get out last night).

T said...

Tim, it was a good move by the Obama campaign because it enabled him to control the content and message (which we in the PR world love to no end!). It looks like it received good ratings too (1/5th of America watched it).

Plus, it may have limited the time and opportunity for McCain to counter with anything that would have any impact.

On the other hand (if I may remain bi-partisan in this attempt), I kept wondering "how is he going to pay for all of these promises?". There were a lot of ideas expressed in those 30 minutes that need to be expressed on a balance sheet for us taxpayers to see.

We'll see what happens next week, but its been an interesting year.

Tim Penning, APR said...

Thanks for the votes and comments. I wonder if it moved opinions or just served up 'candy' for those already decided. But, I just watched Obama's acceptance speech so it's a moot point now.

Derek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derek said...

There was definitely a sizable element of 'candy' for the party faithful, but for what it's worth, anecdotally I work with a former McCain supporter who was on the fence after his selection of Palin (after seeing the ticket close-up at the rally held at GRCC) and she said the infomerical pushed her into the Obama camp (noting that it was so well done it made her cry).