Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

TO THINK THAT AN old sol­dier would come to this! Th­ese de­spair­ing words of Gen­eral – later United States Pres­i­dent – Dwight D Eisen­hower summed up the sea change that occurred in po­lit­i­cal cam­paign­ing in the early Fifties, when com­mer­cial mar­ket­ing tech­niques be­gan to be widely used in pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cam­paigns. Eisen­hower was lament­ing the fact he had to record ra­dio spots and sub­mit him­self to be­ing pow­dered for TV com­mer­cials in­stead of do­ing what he was best at – com­mand­ing armies on the field of bat­tle.

But Eisen­hower’s timid tin­ker­ing was to­tally outdated by the Six­ties, when cam­paign man­ager Christy Walsh promised to pack­age, la­bel and sell Pierre Salinger, who was run­ning for a Se­nate seat, like a bar of soap.

Well, wel­come to the 21st Cen­tury. We’ve just gone a step fur­ther. Barack Obama’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, which has al­ready re­ceived wide­spread pub­lic ac­claim for its ef­fi­ciency, its 360-de­gree mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary ap­proach, its all-round com­pre­hen­sive­ness and its imag­i­na­tive use of the new elec­tronic me­dia, has been awarded a Grand Clio (best of show) in the in­te­grated cam­paign cat­e­gory at the Clio Awards in New York.

Obama’s cam­paign man­ager will be talk­ing about the cam­paign at the Cannes Lions ad­ver­tis­ing fes­ti­val next week. I can’t wait.

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