Digital campaign won the election

So Barack Obama is finally victorious. The US election has been lengthy and the need for political titillation and humour was essential. The Yanks delivered - Palin was a gift-wrapped joy, as were Michelle Obama's shift dresses, the old guy and the calm guy - but the real star was the internet.

Tara Hamilton-Miller
Tara Hamilton-Miller

Although it will be Obama who is remembered for an outstanding web-based campaign, it was actually McCain who kicked it off with footage of his time as a prisoner during the Vietnam War. Obama swiftly caught up, with more than a million supporters receiving texts, emails and speech footage daily.

Of course it was about getting volunteers and raising money, but most importantly, getting the vote. McCain's daughter had a refreshingly honest blog, we had 'Obama Girl' in a bikini singing 'I got a crush on Obama', and CNBC sent clever mock footage of Obama losing and it being your fault to 20 million people.

What was brilliant was the way that technology mixed with old-fashioned political passion, a bit like the Kennedy campaign in the 1960s. Despite the high-tech approach there was a real traditional feel about it. Support for Obama brought neighbourhoods together, a sentiment last felt 40 years ago.

It is highly likely that the next general election will use the same viral campaigns. The recent BBC debacle proved that the chattering British are still newspaper-led but both parties will definitely learn from the US campaign and try to use the internet for publicity.

The Tories dabbled in 2005 when election guru Lynton Crosby put Andrew Lloyd Webber's Take That Look off Your Face to a montage of Blair's smirking face. This was popular at team meetings within Tory HQ, but didn't get the circulation it could have.

There is gentle chatter of an early election in spring. Labour and Tory smarty-pants will have to get creative and quick. A few thoughts...

Kirsty Allsopp and Marco Pierre White resplendent in 'We'd rather go naked than vote for Gordon' film/roadshow/musical. Peter Mandelson adrift on a pedalo with the Howards' Way music in the background...

Tara Hamilton-Miller is a political adviser and formerly worked for the Conservative Party press team.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.