Jun
23

The buying of the President – Jim Margolis

posted on June 23rd 2009 in News & Obama08 with 0 Comments

Trying to get into Parliament that day after a new speaker had been elected might not have been the best of ideas, but I certainly wasn’t alone in trying and that was the problem. So by the time I managed to walk all the way to the rather grand committee room 2, Jim Margolis had already started.

Jim helped get Bill Clinton elected in 1992 and he was a senior advisor to Barack Obama’s campaign.  His expertise is TV advertsing.

In April I got to watch and speak with Sam Graham Felsen (@samgf) from Blue State Digital as part of the G20Voice project I managed.  SGF was Obama’s campaign blogger and it was fascinating to see the two sides of the campaign presented separately.

The campaign made some fabulous ads – I expected the Eye of the Tiger to start blaring out on one it was so pumped up.  They spent $450m on TV spots, but two things stuck out for me from his presentation.

Obama AppFirstly the campaign produced an Obama’08 iPhone App.  The brilliance of this app was that it ordered your contact by importance of location within the battleground states.  So your friends from Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio would be listed at the top.  As a supporter the expectation is you’d call them and encourage them to vote Democrat.  The App monitored your calls an uploaded the data to the Chicago HQ so that the other Democrat phonebanks didn’t bother your friends.  Brilliant.

Secondly Jim was asked what they would do without the money, if they only had 10% of the budget to spend.  He answered, “The Digital Space is the place to begin, because that is where the conversation starts.”

His six lessons from the campaign were:

  • Know what you stand for
  • Be disciplined and consistent
  • Meet people where they are
  • Take risks
  • Use integrated communications and use technology
  • Speed matters

An excellent morning and thanks to GMMB for organisingit.

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