I just read Ellen McGirt's poignant feature story on "The Brand Called Obama" in Fast Company, and my marketing head is spinning. "The fact that Obama has taken what we thought we knew about politics and turned it into a different game for a different generation is no longer news," she writes, "but what has hardly been examined is the degree to which his success indicates a seismic shift on the business horizon as well." Indeed, Obama has introduced a new brand of politics, and he has caused a paradigm shift that goes … Read more
Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard, is stepping into a high-profile role in Republican presidential hopeful John McCain's campaign.
The Republican National Committee on Friday tapped Fiorina to be chairman of fundraising for get-out-the-vote efforts and a leading surrogate for the campaign, according to the San Jose Mercury News. She'll apparently be touring the country in an effort to get folks to rally behind McCain and his economic policies.
Oh, St. Patrick's Day. To a self-respecting Irish-American like myself, it's such a catch-22: On one hand, it's a celebration of the fact that our culture knows how to have a damned good time; on the other hand, all the gross-tasting green beer and sequined leprechaun hats kind of make us cringe sometimes.
We also have to deal with all kinds of ridiculous St. Patrick's Day marketing tie-ins, like this new ad campaign for the Irish Spring soap brand (which I believe was created by the U.S.-based Colgate-Palmolive Company). It features a new Web … Read more
The Huffington Post's new "Fundrace 2008" feature allows you to see who the big donors are in the 2008 presidential race campaigns, with a Google maps mash-up that lets you search by region, donor name, party affiliation and donation amount. It's a light-hearted but also serious look at who the big donors are (it mostly tracks donations over $200) and, in some cases, you can see who's playing "both sides". They also track donations from employees at specific companies. For example, Microsoft and Google employees have primarily given to Democrats by over 2:… Read more
One of Mitt Romney's sons used to be my neighbor. As such, it was hard to not contribute to the campaign.
I'm finding, however, that it's even harder to disengage from the campaign. I get four emails per day (sometimes more) from the campaign (usually two of the same message sent to the two email addresses of mine they somehow have on file). I get calls. I can't get away. Dana calls it basic database marketing. I call it annoying.
It's a bit like the traditional proprietary software model, where obnoxious sales people sit in your office haranguing would-be buyers until you purchase the proprietary ball-and-chain to get rid of the salesperson. (Which is exactly what happens when you write the check - the salesperson disappears. Completely.)
Today I found myself pining for an open-source political campaign. It would operate something like this:… Read more
Q: How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: That's not funny.
OK, getting that out of the way, let me tell you about the greatest marketing campaign since "The Wow Starts Now."
You see, Microsoft, known for its riotous sense of humor, thought it would try its hand of parody, creating a Colbert-like investigative report about whether servers belong in the office or in the home to promote the Windows Home Server. There's a whole series of larger than life posters here at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The problem is, the attempted parody ultimately reinforces all the stereotypes about moms, domesticity, and the so-called "Mommy Wars" that writers and activists are working really hard to erase.… Read more
Presidential hopefuls, take note: America's high-tech workforce would generally prefer that government keep its hands off the Internet, privacy matters included.
That's the message contained in a recent poll of 600 "information technology" workers (click for PDF) released Tuesday by the Computing Technology Industry Association. CompTIA's members are generally smaller tech businesses around the world.
The poll, conducted in August and September by the firm Rasmussen Reports, is billed as the first in a series of steps the association plans to take in an attempt to amplify the views of tech-sector workers among the 2008 … Read more
It's not everyday you witness a shotgun-wielding young man sidle up to a politician running for president and ask him at a formal debate, point blank, how he feels about gun control laws. Oh, and follow up by loading the rifle for emphasis and quipping, "Don't worry, you can answer however you like."
And I can't quite picture a typical moderator asking a question as direct as, what is your favorite make, model, and caliber of weapon, or do you believe every word of the Bible?
Yet a virtual version of those encounters is precisely … Read more
A coalition of entertainment and publishing industry heavyweights would like to see the 2008 presidential candidates champion "meaningful copyright protection" in their policy platforms.
The requests came Tuesday in the form of a letter (PDF) and a questionnaire (PDF), dispatched by the Washington-based Copyright Alliance to 17 candidates vying for Democratic or Republican nominations next year. The group has requested responses to its questionnaire by early January of next year and plans to make the answers public.
The alliance's 44 members include the Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, Association of American Publishers, … Read more
Just in time for a Wednesday visit to the Googleplex and other Silicon Valley outposts, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama plans to take the wraps off his technology platform.
Obama's agenda (PDF), which numbers nine pages, isn't limited to the usual talking points, although they're in there, too: enacting Net neutrality rules, speeding next-generation broadband deployment to all corners of the nation, improving math and science education, beefing up federal research spending, letting in more foreign tech workers, and making the research and development tax credit permanent.
His plan also includes a number of technology-laced provisions aimed … Read more