What Marketers Can Learn From Obama’s Campaign:
Change — and Positioning — You Can Believe in
By Al Ries
Nov. 4, 2008, will go down in history as the biggest day ever in the history of marketing.
Take a relatively unknown man. Younger than all of his opponents. Black. With a bad-sounding name. Consider his first opponent: the best-known woman in America, connected to one of the most successful politicians in history. Then consider his second opponent: a well-known war hero with a long, distinguished record as a U.S. senator.
It didn’t matter. Barack Obama had a better marketing strategy than either of them. “Change.”
Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels was the master of the “big lie.” According to Goebbels, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
The opposite of that strategy is the “big truth.” If you tell the truth often enough and keep repeating it, the truth gets bigger and bigger, creating an aura of legitimacy and authenticity.