Rising above the political blah blah

By Brokaw Digital Media Strategist, Katie Riley

It’s a common refrain these days: “I can’t even watch the latest Nickelback video online without being bombarded with political pre-roll, banners, rich media, and any other inch of my monitor that’s for sale.” (Okay, maybe that’s just us.) Truth is, to develop an effective digital campaign that engages rather than irritates—whether that’s for a product, service, or future P.O.T.U.S.—you have to think beyond banners.

So, let’s take a look at which candidate is rising above so far, and what we can learn from them both. (BTW—let us preface this by saying, Brokaw Inc. is an unbiased, independent agency, therefore we do not support any party, except for this one.)


A few days ago, Obama conducted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit—an extremely popular social media community that attracts more than 35 million unique visitors and about 3 billion page views every month. Not only did Obama double the site’s record of visitors that day, but we got to see a very real, unfiltered picture of the Commander-in-Chief, sitting in a room, choosing the questions that he was going to answer, and answering them himself (spelling errers included).


Romney actually hosted an online “AMA” prior to Obama—though, being his was on Yahoo! Answers (fielded by third party ABC News), the final on air content ended up being highly edited and generalized.

Beyond the “AMA,” the Romney digital team came up with an innovative idea to use Twitter’s sponsored hashtag feature to entice the twitterverse to tweet about how worse off they are since Obama has been elected.

Unfortunately, the hashtag they created—#AreYouBetterOff—backfired worse than the Cleveland Indians “What if?” campaign, with tweeps turning against the Romney campaign at a ratio of 5-to-1 according to Buzzfeed’s Russell Brandom.


Obama is winning the information superhighway race to the White House right now. But if the Romney digital strategy team would just read our blog (hello, #McDStories!), maybe they could get back in this thing. What if, right?

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