Social Marketing During the Election

It seems like we can use a little humor after tonight’s second presidential debate. Yes, I am watching late night TV which will inevitably poke fun at the event for the rest of the week, but that’s not where I’m heading…

During this crucial time in an election year, we’re all bombarded with campaign attack ads via mass media. These messages pick at the opposition, and further confuse voters. But, have you caught any of the fun and entertaining TV spots from big brands capitalizing on the political sentiment this season?

This morning, I received HubSpot’s “8 Clever Ways Brands Are Newsjacking the Election for Marketing,” and I was impressed by the span of industries participating in the political satire – not only via TV, but with integrated digital and social campaigns. Noted in the article:

  1. Pizza Hut: This video drives to “The Pizza Party” Big Dinner Box as its candidate, asking their customers to show support by signing up to receive deals. HubSpot’s article also states offering unlimited pizza for a year or a $15,600 check to anyone who asks the presidential candidates if they prefer pepperoni or sausage during the second debate tonight, which did not happen. According to this article, Pizza Hut took this question off of the table following some bad press about the stunt.
  2. JetBlue: JetBlue Election Protection website, which stems from the overwhelming “I’m leaving the country if…” statements that spur out of negative feelings each election. JetBlue will send winners on vacations to destinations based on popular votes.
  3. PBS (Featuring Big Bird!): The campaign fights back against Mitt Romney‘s statement that he will cut funding to PBS (despite his respect for Big Bird). PBS purchased a promoted tweet on Twitter to appear whenever users searched for, which strives to educate consumers about PBS’s worth.
  4. Boston Market: “Market Bowl Poll” asks consumers to vote on one of two new dishes, chicken (the left wing) against turkey (the right wing). The video incorporates #marketbowlpoll and drives to where consumers can read up on the two “platforms”.
  5. FedEX: you’ve likely seen the “Candidates” TV spot, which jabs at political attack campaigns.
  6. Cabbage Patch: Really? Did you ever think Cabbage Patch would get in on this? Check out their politician dolls: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan, up for auction, from which proceeds benefit Rock the Vote.
  7. 7-Eleven: From HubSpot, “customers choose coffee cups that are either blue for President Obama or red for Mitt Romney, with the votes tallied at the check-out counter. Every day, the results are calculated on the 7-Eleven website.”
  8. Heaven Hill Distilleries: “To capitalize on the election season at the start of the primaries in January, Heaven Hill Distilleries introduced two types of bourbons: Red State Bourbon and Blue State Bourbon. Along with launch of its left wing and right wing bourbons, the distillery also launched two separate Facebook pages in support of each position. And for every Facebook like they receive, Heaven Hill Distilleries is also donating $1 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” HubSpot writes.

What do you think of brands making “light” during this very heavy political time frame? Have you seen any other brands doing a stellar job?

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