The final ceremony at the Cannes International Advertising Festival included the recognition of the Obama/Biden Presidential campaign. The Titanium & Integrated jury, chaired by David Droga, founder and creative chairman of Droga5, voted on 403 entries to reach a shortlist of 23, of which 11 Integrated Lions and 3 Titanium Lions were awarded. The prestigious Titanium Grand Prix and the Integrated Grand Prix were both won by Obama For America in Washington for the Obama/Biden Presidential campaign.
When Senator Barack Obama announced that he was running for President, he faced the longest odds in election history. As a little known African-American Senator with only two years of Washington experience, he was running against the formidable Clinton political machine, a seemingly endless war in Iraq and economy that everyday squeezed the middle-class. The campaign relied on several tactically imperatives: Only one candidate would emerge as the “alternative” to Clinton – Obama had to own that title; the election would be about change from Bush and the previous eight years – evidenced by the 2006 elections.
Obama’s appeal to younger voters and the boom of social networking tools would be integral to his success – OFA sought to create a “movement” for change; to win, OFA would need to expand the “electoral map” – fight hard in states like Virginia, North Carolina, and Indiana that had consistently voted Republican.
President Obama won the General Election by the biggest margin of any Democrat in 60 years, save Lyndon Johnson. By bringing millions of new voters into the political process, he won in states that had not voted for a Democrat for President in decades. Today, President Obama’s campaign serves as case-study for how a successfully integrated campaign can mobilize support, influence a population and change the face of government.
Primary strategy hinged upon strong finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. To introduce voters to Obama’s biography, advertising in both states began early. OFA’s main targets were the older primary voting faithful first. This was especially true in Iowa because of the caucus system. The second focus was on those Independent voters disenchanted with Bush and the Republican Party.
In all cases, OFA used television, radio, print, online, and outdoor advertising to transmit the change message. A victory in Iowa and a second place finish in New Hampshire resulted in a series of short and strong advertising campaigns across the nation. OFA put millions of dollars into Television, Radio, and Online to reinforce aggressive earned media and field strategies. Successful, OFA used a similar strategy in the General Election against Senator McCain. Obama’s exposure during the primary allowed OFA to expand the electoral map and compete in historically Republican strongholds.