Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Best $44k Spent in This Year's Election.

I just have a real quick entry I have to make before this election is over. I'm going back to the story involving Obama buying advertising on Electronic Art's "Burnout", or at least the online portion of the game.

The $44k bill was just sent to Obama's campaign for the in-game advertising. Yes $44k!!! For the amount of exposure they got for this, it's one of the best deals of the whole campaign. Every major newspaper, news channel, political blog, etc covered this thing. Hell, they could probably scrounge that up by searching the seats on the campaign bus.

So why did it blow up? Let's not kid ourselves, in-game advertising is nothing new and I would question the impact that this had on the gamers themselves. Even if that impact was there, how many people are playing online burnout right now? Honestly, not many.

The story here is the support of Obama's brand. Obama set out very quickly to be the campaign that grabbed on to new media. He was the first on Twitter and the first to get over 100k followers. His online presence was everywhere and he spread his message throughout the internet with ease.

The reason this worked so well is because it was an easy story for the media to tell that supported the personal brand Obama's campaign had already built for him. It was a very easy bridge to cross for writers and journalists everywhere.

To jump off Jason Bedell's blog on "Three Rules of Viral", the story was simple and it was shareable. The missing link here is that it was on the pulse of what people were thinking at the time. It fit seamlessly into the foundations he had already made for his campaign.

For the $44k spent, it was a very smart bet with very little risk. Do things for your brand that supports the personality that you've already built and you'll be rewarded. Try to jump outside of your personality and watch for the backlash from the community. That's probably why we didn't see McCain ads in World of Warcraft.

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