A lot has been said already about the 17 minute Obama infomercial put out by his 2012 campaign last week. Some think it too long, too somber, or too little and too much of everything and anything. The numbers though speak for themselves. In four days it had over 600,000 hits.
But what is really striking about The Road We’ve Traveled is the PR positioning for Obama. For a President repeatedly criticized in polls and editorials for an alleged lack of leadership, this video gives us a different take: Obama is running the show even if being at the top is often a lonely and tough road.
Contrasting with the buoyant and inclusive positioning of Yes We Can, the campaign has opted for a PR positioning that has the President single handedly responsible for profound changes. From rescuing the car industry to introducing health care – the message is simple. Obama made the decisions and they rest on his sole shoulders. The bucks stops with him.
The PR Verdict; “B” for having taken note of the President’s press coverage and hitting the recurring concern head on. This is a major but subtle shift in PR positioning.
From YES WE CAN to YES HE DID. The video is filled with iconic stills of the President standing at the end of corridors, in his office alone or pondering into the yonder with the world’s weight on his shoulders. Calling the decision to kill Bin Laden, “the harder and more honorable path,” President Clinton in the video seems to describe the leadership style of Obama, not only as lofty but also inspirational, humbly adding “I hope that’s the call I would have made.” Polls have power and if the market research was chastising Obama for a leadership style that was perceived as too consensual and conciliatory, then this might be the winning step in the right direction.
What’s your PR verdict on The Road We’ve Traveled?