Wednesday, October 17

The Debate



The joke was on me last night as I watched the second Presidential debate.  After much debate myself, I finally decided to host another Twitter party at #DebateExp, thinking that I could avoid the politics and just talk about the marketing surrounding it all.  Of course I totally forgot that the Debate is commercial free!  Whoops.

But it was still fun to read all the comments and to get a sense of people's sentiment on Twitter ... at least until I fell asleep at around 10:00EST.  Waking up the next morning to all the commentary is equally as fun.

I did notice a few observations.  As a culture, we've gotten very witty.  At least in 140 characters or less.  I find that amusing, encouraging, and entertaining.  Not sure why, but I do find it hopeful that we are so engaged on such an intellectual level.  It takes a lot of intellect to be witty.

We also observe and comment through our own lens.  We can't help it.  So your "going in" bias completely drives how we are going to view and comment on these things.  We just can't help it.  That's ok as long as we acknowledge it, and accept it as part of our "brand."

I couldn't help but notice the bright red carpet and think of E!  They own the red carpet and I wasn't the only one who made that connection.  Proof of the power of pop culture.

As for the branding, it was hard to tell.  I thought that the candidates would be more clearly branded but I personally could not really differentiate.  Maybe that's just me or maybe I dropped off too early.  Plus Obama had on a red tie and Romney had on a blue tie ... got me all confused.

The best marketing of the night actually never happened, and it came from Pizza Hut.  The brand ran a promotion to give away a prize to whomever asked the candidates if they liked pepperoni or sausage.  Hilarious, although a bit disrespectful.  So much so, apparently, that the criticism caused the brand to take the promotion out of the Debate and online, quickly dying what felt like a slow death.

Pop culture moment has to go to Binders ... as in notebooks. The comment from Romney has become a pop culture sensation over night, sure to influence marketing, social media, and Halloween costumes for weeks to come.  Can anyone say Staples?

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Marketing Professor, NYU

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