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Obama 2012

Improving on the world’s largest grassroots political movement

The Challenge

Build on 2008’s foundation by weaving in lessons from the best brand, nonprofit, and advocacy campaigns.

The Insight

Inspirational storytelling, smart strategy, and the right technology can overcome any odds — even a vocal and well-financed opposition.

The Solution

The campaign mobilized tens of millions of voters, raised an unprecedented $690 million online, and won 332 electoral votes on Election Day.

In early 2011, President Obama’s odds of re-election looked anything but certain.

2008’s digital strategy helped the long-shot candidate mobilize the largest grassroots movement in history, but the 2012 race posed different challenges: A growing Tea Party frenzy and a post-Citizens United campaign financing environment meant a more active opposition and hundreds of millions more dollars trashing the president and his record. Blue State partnered with Obama’s re-election campaign to once again reach, inspire, persuade, and organize millions of people..

Our infrastructure and on-call systems experts scaled to ensure outlets like barackobama.com handled massive traffic surges in key moments such as the Democratic National Convention and presidential debates. Ultimately, the campaign mobilized tens of millions of voters, raised $690 million online, and won 332 electoral votes on Election Day.

A fresh visual and digital start

Months before the official campaign launch, the team developed a top-level strategy, updated the logo and visual identity, and designed and built a new barackobama.com.

Branding guidelines for the Obama 2012 campaign
Our visual exploration for Obama’s 2012 campaign included logo variations, invigorating color palettes, as well as textures and new icons.

Storytelling that connects the dots

Our video connected the emotions of 2008 with both the presidency and the new campaign to make all of Obama’s efforts feel like a single, compelling story — giving supporters a better sense of continuity and investment in the election.

Raising the fundraising bar

We put every email through several rounds of testing on smaller segments of the list — often going through more than a dozen variations before hitting send. For example, President Obama’s much-discussed “I will be outspent” email outperformed 17 other variants before it was sent to the broader list, helping to raise more than $2.4 million in one day. 

Among other innovations, we made one-click fundraising possible in politics for the first time. The 1.5 million donors who saved their payment information became some of the campaign’s most reliable supporters, contributing a total of $115 million — $75 million of which might have been left on the table without this technology.

Results

  • $690M raised online

  • 38% more than in 2008