Saturday, October 4, 2008

Are You Talkin' To Me?

I recently learned that the United States is the only developed nation to tax its citizens who are working abroad. Right now, I will be taxed both by the Swiss and the U.S. governments. The American Fairness Tax Act of 2008 has been proposed to eliminate this redundancy. Fingers crossed, although I'm sure my representatives in Congress have enough to worry about right now.

But I'm only telling you this, so I can tell you this...

Curious to know if either Presidential candidate had anything to say on the matter, I emailed identical queries to both the Obama and McCain campaigns. Of course, I didn't expect to get an immediate or personal response. But I was curious to see what would happen. (Being from Illinois, I've emailed Obama's senate office several times and always received some sort of reply.)

Since emailing both candidates from the questions/comments section of their web pages, I've received at least ten emails from the Obama camp. Some from him. Some from his staff. A couple from Joe Biden. I just got one from Michelle. It may sound like overkill, but none of them feel intrusive. They've mostly encouraged me to watch the debates. Video clips of debate highlights. Reminders of when the next ones are televised. Only a couple have been outright requests for donations.

McCain has sent me exactly zero emails. No requests for donations. No information about the debates. Not even an acknowledgement that they can't possibly respond to each individual email. Maybe it's because I listed myself as a resident of Oregon (my mail's being forwarded to my in-laws there). Maybe McCain figures he's not going to win the Beaver State, so why return any Oregonian messages. Still, you'd expect something.

Politics aside, Obama has been a much better communicator from the start. As someone in advertising, I've got to admire what he's been doing: While every politician in the history of elections slaps their name on a blue background and throws in some red, wavy stripes, the Obama team created a logo (although McCain's is also much better than the generic ones); Obama's taking the online approach Howard Dean pioneered four years ago and improved upon it; and Barack, himself, gives speeches that are eloquent and stirring whether or not you agree with the policies. No doubt he's made some big blunders. But all things equal, he's been a much better communicator.

And whether it scares you or not (depends on who you're voting for), in politics and in marketing, the person who tells a more compelling story usually wins. Just ask Ronald Reagan, Nike or Johnnie Cochran.

1 comment:

the medeiros family said...

Hmm...very interesting. Thanks for the food for thought.