28 May 2010

2010 is the new 2008: At least when it comes to campaigns

Obama’s campaign is so 2008. That’s the consensus if you ask Swedish political bigwigs like Bo Krogvig (as quoted in this week’s Resume) and Janne Sundling (as heard on Tuesday’s Novus election seminar.)

It’s easy to disregard the Obama campaign success, especially since Swedes are known for being innovators looking out for the next big thing. But let’s not forget the Obama movement too fast. There are still so many communications lessons from ’08 that could be used in the upcoming Swedish elections.

One of my favorite examples of actually not a part of the official campaign, but an outside initiative called The Great Schlep created by a PAC called the Jewish Council for Education and Research. Together with the talents of comedian Sara Silverman and ad agency Droga5, they created this hilarious (and warning, explicit) video that has received millions of YouTube hits. The goal? To get Jewish young people to travel to Florida to visit their grandparents and convince them to vote Obama.

Now why focus on this incredibly segmented target group of 600,000 Jewish voters in Florida? Florida is the swing state that gave Bush his narrow victory in 2000, and also happens to be the home of the second-largest Jewish community in the US—most of them retirees. Many of these elderly voters were uncertain about Obama, while at the same time Obama’s opponent McCain, partnering up with Joe Lieberman, was aggressively courting this group. The Great Schlep campaign gave young people the tools, tactics, and talking points to make a difference. The result? Not only did Obama win Florida, he also won a larger percentage of Jewish voters (78%) there than Kerry did in 2004 (74%.)

This story might seem incredibly 2008 to you. But my question is: have we seen anything like this yet in the 2010 Swedish campaign--whether affiliated with a party or not? Is there a communications effort out there that effectively uses humor, and is also aimed at a specific target group (that might otherwise be taken for granted)? I’m still waiting for some good examples....

ELIZABETH WALENTIN

Elizabeth Walentin may be new to the blogging scene, but she's an old hand when it comes to strategic communications. An American with five years in Sweden under her belt, her areas of expertise include presentation training, media relations, and political strategy. She is a communications consultant and head of Education at JG Communication.






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1 comment:

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