Obama vs McCain
Presenters’ first rule: What’s the message?
I am a self-confessed Americanophile – I love the country, I have been to 34 states and spend probably 50% of my working life there. But for the fact that my wife cannot legally practice medicine there I would move. I’m not sure where to – but probably Denver or San Francisco (with ski resorts being the pull). So it is with utter fascination I have been watching the presidential race. It will affect us all.
Politics aside, there seems to me to be a massive difference in the two campaigns. Let me ask you a question: what is the key message for Obama? “Change”, right? It’s on all of his material, all over the website, and has been a constant theme of the campaign through Clinton and now McCain. The US needs change, I am the catalyst for this, McCain is a Bush in sheep’s clothing (to mix my metaphors).
What’s McCain’s message? Not sure? It depends on the week, or now the day. Clearly anti-Obama – after all apparently “Socialist”, “Terrorist”, “inexperienced”, “young” and “Democratic” can all be interchangeable terms. McCain’s campaign website is very short on policy, and his presentation messages vary from day-to-day and week-to-week!
Obama is the better presenter, not because he can play a crowd but because he has a message and he keeps repeating it. “America needs a change, I am it”. The lesson is apparent – a consistent message drives sales. We know this from our work with large sales forces. No message means no sales.
I predict a win for Obama not because he will make the best US President, but because he is the better salesperson. On the whole this is a good thing, because what the US really needs now is somebody to change the global opinion of the country. To mis-quote Ogilvy “The world [originally, management] cannot expect to recognise a good idea unless it is presented to them by a salesperson”. Besides, when I think of Obama, I think of change, when I think of McCain, I think of Oven Chips… Not the best campaign slogan – “Less than 5% fat”