Sorry, This Subject Line Did NOT Help Obama Win Reelection

It Did Help Justin Bieber Win Your Heart, Though (Possibly)

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Last week in my Last Word column I wrote about the Obama-Biden team's clever and annoying use of email marketing. I served up a list of some of my favorite (or maybe I should say "favorite") email subject lines from the campaign along with one decoy, and I issued a challenge: Identify the fake and tell me whose line it actually is , and you could win some free organic toothpaste. (Why organic toothpaste? Here, let me explain.)

Despite the weird and unglamorous prize, 124 people entered. Nearly 9 out of 10 entrants correctly identified the line -- "Baby take a chance or you'll never ever know" -- that was not actually an Obama-Biden campaign email subject line. Many correctly attributed it to Justin Bieber (it's a lyric from his song "Boyfriend"), often making excuses about how they knew this (e.g., "I sadly know all the lyrics because my boys play it on an endless loop," according to one entrant). The randomly selected winner? Caitlin J., who works at Dwolla. Congratulations, Caitlin!

Some entrants, shockingly, guessed wrong. In fact, "Our biggest sale EVER," "20% OFF storewide" and "Michael Jordan" -- submitted by multiple entrants -- were actually all subject lines sent out by the Obama-Biden campaign.

If you entered and didn't win, or didn't enter at all, I've got a consolation prize for you: some delicious pie (chart), showing all the correct and incorrect entries by proportionate slice. Because life is an infographic.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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