You've already read what the industry had to say about the Republican National Convention and John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, elsewhere in this issue. Below is what you had to say on AdAge.com after Sen. Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Obama has inspired multiple generations and used updated campaigning tactics representative of this decade. Though ignored for decades as an important part of the electorate, young people are using the newest media platforms to organize and show support for the second presidential candidate (any Gen Xers remember Clinton playing the saxophone on MTV?) to reach out to the millennials and Gen Y, who are outpacing the baby boomers when it comes to buying power faster than they can download apps to their iPhones. When it comes to this generation's sense of community, progress and social responsibility are what they deem important, and Obama's beliefs mirror them. Let's see McCain inspire people to change their Facebook profile to include "Sidney" as their middle name!
The whole event was a little much, from the over-the-top stage to the rabid "fans'" reactions to the content of the speech. I am not quite sure what to make of it. I found parts of the speech inspiring and thought-provoking, other parts historically inaccurate and a bit opportunistic, especially the parts about him being right and everyone else being wrong. Shaping history to suit your political needs is scary stuff.
Obama presented himself as having all the answers -- and the crowd ate it up. It's just not realistic and is sort of insulting to anyone with half a brain. What ever happened to underpromise, and overdeliver? You'd think that it would be easy for me, as a Chicagoan, to get onboard for the guy, but honestly, I see a full-time career politician from the Chicago machine saying anything and everything to get elected.
So, no, didn't swing me. McCain hasn't made a strong case either, though, so the jury unfortunately is still out.
I think it was an incredible opportunity -- lost. Never has he (or possibly any) candidate or politician had a venue or even media coverage like that available to them, on the anniversary of such importance. And what did he do? Gave a boring political speech. There wasn't anything great about it -- plain vanilla. If that is the best inspiring speech he can do in such an amazing environment, I can only imagine future presidential press conferences. It sure didn't swing my vote left.
It may have come across as "plain vanilla" to die-hard right-wingers, but from a marketing standpoint, I thought Obama and his team did a phenomenal job. As a well-known marketing guru said, one of the first steps of a successful sales pitch is to "emphasize the pain." Obama did just that by ticking off the myriad missteps and outright lies manufactured by the current administration, then offering solutions to each of those issues. And on a personal note, I loved the segment where he informed us all that "America is better than that." Bravo, Obama. Bravo!
As a marketer, I agree that Obama did a terrific job outlining his platform. The visual of the supporters inside a packed stadium was really good and has set the stage for the McCain comparison. He has to do as well. As for the speech, if you listened and can't name at least one platform that he spoke about, then you didn't listen very well. If a marketer thought the speech was boring, then maybe the marketing techniques you are using need to be "reinvented." This isn't a football game!
It's interesting to note that Obama never mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by name and instead called him "that preacher from Georgia." He had the opportunity to reach down and grab the baton and hold it up for Americans to see, but he did not. When others have commented that he didn't do that because he did not want to alienate white voters, others have responded that to be black in America and struggle with civil rights is a core American experience and one that is manifested in every American, regardless of color. He missed the opportunity to take his speech there. He hit a lot of high notes, to be sure, but one was silent.