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Game 7 or the Debate?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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The debates are over, the last one ending on not so much of a high note. Yes, Americans were watching; yes, there was chatter amidst the social media world, but attendance was low. Was it relevancy, was it the candidates, or was it Game 7 and Monday Night Football that won the eyes and ears of Americans Monday night? Taking a look at the debate with a digital eye can answer some questions and hopefully provide insight into why brands need to integrate.

Don’t Skip Trends. Many brands like to wait. Wait for metrics, wait for best practices, and wait for a “better” time to integrate a new trend into a strategy. However, waiting is not a consumer’s friend. If they are there, brands need to be there as well. President Obama integrated chatter and conversation from Twitter into his rebuttal at the last debate and ultimately became current with a set of fans that hoped they were being watched. Obama’s comment was of course picked up by Twitter and generated over 100,000 tweets per minute. That counts as a following and might just generate votes in the booth in early November. But with only one comment that connected back to social media, the question becomes: Are candidates integrating enough for it to make a difference?

Don’t Ignore the Games. Sure, there is competition among brands within an industry, but there’s also a battle amongst all the other chatter that is happening. The last and most important Presidential debate aired alongside Game 7 and Monday Night Football. That’s a lot of competition and the candidates needed to “bring it” (for lack of a better phrase.) There are a lot of sources of information and entertainment and if something isn’t holding the attention of Americans, they’ll simply move on. It seems that foreign policy was harder for people to grasp and the Twitter hashtag #debates failed to trend across the U.S. for the entirety of the debate. There is a lot of content out there for consumers — a brand is no longer competing with only direct competitors; instead it needs to account for all the influencers available.

The debate wasn’t a fail in any sense, but the integration with social media and the ability to keep Americans attention was lacking. The political arena is still getting used to these newer capabilities, but the brands must adapt. Brands no longer have a choice on what to accept and what to move away from because consumers have already said what they want — loud and clear.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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