2008 Presidential Election Marketing Spend: Nearly $1 Billion Dollars

Congratulations to President Elect Barack Obama on his amazing marketing and awareness campaign. As a traditional / social / new media follower, I was amazed at the awareness that was created and number of touch points that hit me personally.

200811042351.jpgNow that the election is complete, I couldn’t help but think about the number of impressions I have seen and heard over the past two years. To be honest, it’s been overwhelming.

One thing for certain, all Americans, including eligible voters over the age of 18, have witnessed the most “expensive marketing campaign” for a public office. Mr. Obama and McCain have raised a marketing war war chest of approximately US$999M (source: www.OpenSecrets.org).

What does this mean from a budgeting perspective?

Using US Census data (July 2007 estimates), there are approximately 306M citizens in the US. Assuming the dollars will split equally, President Elect Obama had $2.18 for every man, woman, and child to create impressions. McCain trailed with $1.18 per US citizen, or only 56% of what Obama raised.

Reality is that the vote is only available for those 18 years and older. Focusing the war chest on the narrower target audience, Obama had $2.81 per man and woman. Mr. McCain again only had a little over half as much money to spend at $1.58.

What’s interesting is that as a category spend of dollars per eligible voter, each of us over the age of 18 has received approximately $4.39 of awareness or issue-education spend.

Question: Should any election should have unlimited marketing spend to get the word out, share the message, or influence the vote?

What are your thoughts? I’d love to know.



Comments are closed.