In case you missed it, this is President Obama’s new re-election campaign slogan. And there is a lot of debate about its meaning because of the little punctuation mark at the end. The buzz made front page news in the Wall Street Journal
last week. According to the article, the word “was chosen to reflect the direction Mr. Obama wants to take the country if re-elected." However, some have interpreted the additional punctuation mark as “Slamming on the brakes on a word that conveys momentum."
As a Marketer, having worked with advertising agencies, I would love to have been a “fly on the wall” to hear the arguments on the merits of the “period." No doubt it was hotly debated before they decided to “pull the trigger."
That President Obama’s campaign team does not know what they are doing. Quite the contrary. The team is well aware of the effectiveness of the campaign. The campaign definitely cuts through the clutter; the question is whether it is persuasive. The process of creating good advertising that drives awareness of your brand and persuades your customers to “buy” is something that all brands / businesses, and in this case a presidential candidate, should strive for.
Having created many highly persuasive advertising campaigns over the years, including consumer feedback as part of the loop is critical. The steps to creating persuasive advertising, be it TV, print, or on-line, is as follows:
While this approach is not foolproof, it does help ensure you get good creative that is on-strategy. While I don’t know the process that the Obama campaign team used, I am quite sure they tested “Forward” before rolling it out and that it is effective at cutting through the clutter. Whether they decide to continue to keep the “period” is open to debate. New ads are now being aired without the punctuation mark. The more important question is whether the ad is persuasive and we will have to wait until November to answer that question.
What’s your reaction to the “Forward.” campaign?
(Be sure to also see my commentary on Mitt Romney's running mate strategy)
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