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Now that the primary race has (finally) settled down and we have ourselves a consensus on the Democratic and Republican nominees for President, it's time to start the analysis of each candidate's marketing efforts. Since this subject matter has likely been covered eleven bazillion times already, I promise to keep my thoughts succinct and relatively raw. And, I promise to give you an objective view—truth be told, I am interested in both candidates and what they have to say. I'm one of those undecided folks that needs more time to make an educated decision.
I'm going to start today by giving you my thoughts on their online efforts (and later asking for your thoughts). While both candidates have been lauded by analysts for creating well marketed campaign platforms, it is difficult to give the nod to anyone but Barack Obama for his online efforts. He has been using the internet in ways that no other political candidate in history has and of course has focused on connecting through design more than the other candidate, as covered by Bruce Nussbaum HERE.
In a side-by-side comparison of the two candidate Web sites, Obama clearly has an edge. While McCain's site is better than many political sites, Obama's is clean, easy to navigate and even has great use of typography - something that he has been praised for over the many months of the primary race. Every detail appears buttoned up and well thought out, down to the use of icons for navigation. I even really enjoy Obama's use of a landing page which encourages visitors to sign up to be a part of the campaign. This is something McCain doesn't do until you get to the homepage, and even then it's buried amongst many images, many links, and many other points of navigation.
I also recently heard from my friends at Make My Logo Bigger about a micro site the Obama camp has created called http://www.fightthesmears.com. This site is an amazingly important part of his campaign strategy, in my opinion. Essentially it lays out each and every 'smear' that Obama's opponents have unleashed to the public and gives targeted answers to these smears. This is great, because as you know, smears are often nothing more than unfounded rumors that tend to multiply from person to person. Obama has effectively greatly diminished the influence that a smear will have over the outcome of the political race. It also puts another tool in the toolbox of Obama brand stewards. I can definitely see someone passing along this link to someone that perpetuates a smear against Obama...
I'm really interested in what you all think about the candidates' online campaigns. Please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts and opinions. As a matter of fact, feel free to vote in the new poll question to the right!