Political super branding through the use of social media technology : the Barack Obama presidential campaign in 2008
Pillay, Nadas Ramachandra
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This study seeks to examine the exponential growth of social media technology as a key component in recent American political campaigning, as well as its use and impact on the larger disciplines of marketing and branding. Adopting the approach of a case study with the focus firmly on the current American president, Barack Obama, the study identifies the key media and technologies used in the build-up to the 2008 American presidential elections in order to unpack and understand how such media channels, technological platforms and patterns were successfully utilised. References are also made to the concepts of ‘branding’ and ‘super branding’ in the discussion, and to the myriad ways in which social media has helped create and roll-out what has since become commonly known as ‘brand Obama’. To provide a framework for the discussion and in order to further understand the rapid growth and proliferation of social media on the political campaigning landscape, a comparison is made with the 2004 American presidential election campaign. This, it is posited, will assist us understand the drivers of new media technologies especially as they are used to create and impact positively on the growth of political super brands.