eCommerce: Joe The Plumber

Two unpleasant hangovers from the McCain campaign are the new Sarah Palin phenomenon and of course Joe The Plumber. Joe, as we know, is not really called Joe and neither is he a plumber.
His latest wheeze? A website (of course) on which Joe is keepin’ it real and charging a $14.95 annual fee. A blogger writes:
“YOU THE PEOPLE can now obtain a Freedom Membership from Joe the Plumber’s hastily-put-together-to-capitalize-on-his-media-celebrity-before-it-expires Web site, SecureOurDream.com. The Membership, like Freedom itself, ain’t free…but the $14.95 yearly fee practically pays for itself! With it, you’ll get:

1) Total Access to “Joe The Forum” where you may chat directly with Joe
2) Subscription to the “Joe The Blog” monthly newsletter
3) Free Shipping on all “Joe The Plumber” merchandise
4) Free Signed Copy of Joe’s forthcoming book “Joe The Plumber” – Fighting for the American Dream
5) Become an integral part of an American movement to restore our government to the people”
plumbers crack
Yah … don’t think I’ll be signing up…
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Election: Social Media Roundup

The 2008 contest for the White House may go down in history as the first social media election. How else to explain the unprecedented role the Web played in this year’s Presidential contest, an influence scarcely imaginable just four years ago? In 2004 many social networking sites were just getting off the blocks. YouTube, for example, was introduced early the following year. And microblogging sites like Twitter wouldn’t emerge until the 2008 Presidential campaign was getting under way.
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Obama Victory Speech Viewed More Than 7M Times on Web
More than 78 million people watched election night on U.S. TV networks, according to Nielsen. And still clips of the historic night are proving big hits on YouTube. YouTube accounted for 98% of the views of Mr. Obama’s speech of the 150-odd video-sharing sites Visible Measures keeps tabs on. President-elect Barack Obama‘s victory speech has been uploaded more than 500 times and viewed more than 7 million times on the web in the last 48 hours, according to web analytics firm Visible Measures. By comparison, Mr. Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” has been uploaded 100 times since May and recieved 7.33 million views.

But this link denotes every expenditure made by the Obama Campaign, including their media buys by item.
Here’s another analysis of the media spend by the Obama campaign showing how much was spent on social media. One of the largest beneficiaries was Facebook even though overall media spend was small.
Barack Obama launched the official government Web site for the presidential transition on Thursday, giving it a look and feel that suggests the new president will utilize the Internet to a much greater degree than his predecessor. The site is a slightly more formal-looking incarnation of Obama’s campaign web site that features a blue-shaded presidential seal and a countdown clock to the Inauguration on January 20. There are biographies not only of Obama and Joe Biden, but also the directors of his transition team: John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse. The web site outlines Obama’s policy agenda, on issues from Iraq to social security to urban policy.
The Obama campaign’s “New Media” experts created a computer program that would allow a “flusher”–the term for a volunteer who rounds up nonvoters on Election Day–to know exactly who had, and had not, voted in real time. They dubbed it Project Houdini, because of the way names disappear off the list instantly once people are identified as they wait in line at their local polling station.
If Barack Obama ran for president by calling for a heavier hand of government, he also won by running one of the most entrepreneurial campaigns in history.
Michael Shaw of the always insightful blog BagNewsNotes writes about Obama’s use of Flickr and how Obama informally “friends” us via the site. (Of course, this is arguably a false or projected sense of familiarity.) A commenter submits that this “takes the implied intimacy of the ‘fireside chat’ to a new level.”
The brouhaha is nearly over and there will be one winner. Actually, there will be two. The 2008 US presidential election, dubbed ‘the YouTube Election’ by pundits, has been a triumph for digital media. Both John McCain of the Republican Party and his Democratic challenger Barack Obama have used an array of online channels from email to video to the full. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes joined Obama’s team last year, helping to create the first ever socially-networked presidential campaign.
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J. Crew v Michelle Obama

With a little bit of Gmail contextual wizardry, J. Crew is capitalizing on Obama and his wife Michelle with a google text ad that leads to a commerce-focused landing page. Its a smart move and I can almost forgive the copywriting, which reads, “All politics aside…this outfit gets our vote.”
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7-Election

I confess I have a sneaking admiration for 7-11’s “7-Election” promotion. Its a nice blend of (that which used to be called) viral and social media. I particularly like the fact it starts in store, but has digital legs also. I am also a self-confessed packaging nerd, so …

Every time you purchase a cup of coffee at 7-11 you can select from a blue Obama cup or a red McCain cup. (I wish they were giving away non-disposable cups, but there you go). Said cups becomes both a status item, a destination driver and discussion spark. Kudos to 7-11 for continuing a simple and smart program.

Oh, by the way, 7-11 claim to have called the last two elections correctly. Let’s see what happens…

PS By the way I love WFMZ’s copywriting on this: Coffee drinkers at 7-11 are used to deciding between regular and decaf, but these days there’s another important choice to be made: Obama or McCain”. How very Ron Burgundy!

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Election 2.0(08)

This site has pulled together a fantastic dashboard to monitor the election. Not only does it have all the key metrics, above, but it also has the latest Tweets, recent blog posts and recent news.
The simulator “is NOT a prediction of the outcome of the election. It merely takes representative state polls (or averages of multiple polls where appropriate) and answers the question: IF the election were today, what is the range of likely outcomes?”
FiveThityEight methodology differs from other poll compilations: 1. They assign each poll a weighting based on that pollster’s historical track record, sample size, and recentness. 2. They include a regression estimate based on the demographics in each state among their ‘polls’. 3. They use an inferential process to compute a rolling trendline that allows us to adjust results in states that have not been polled recently. 4. They simulate the election 10,000 times for each site update in order to provide a probabilistic assessment of electoral outcomes.
A nice example of volume of news references, displayed in a dynamic way.

Sarah Palin and The Social Media-verse…

Bristol Palin’s Boyfriend Levi Johnston on MySpace.com Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol Palin’s future baby, the daughter of Sarah has his own MySpace page. The news that Bristol was pregnant came to light on Labor Day, and was a shock to thousands of Republicans. Levi Johnston’s MySpace page describes himself as a “fucking redneck … who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes. But I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some sh*t and just f**kin’ chillin’ I guess. Ya f*ck with me I’ll kick ass.” After all the publicity, Levi Johnston’s MySpace was redacted, revealing no evidence of his previous profanity laden macho posturing. Although he admits that he is in a relationship, he still says that he wants to use MySpace “for networking or for dating.” Moreover, on the subject of possible children, he left the message, “Love kids, but not for me.” Most devastatingly, in a sharp contrast to the Palin family’s conservative views, Levi instead posts that he is an “agnostic”.

Andrew Hearst of the Panopticist is a master at making funny magazine cover parodies. Here’s his most recent work. Sarah Palin Makes the Cover of Foreign Affairs Weekly…

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