John McCain

Obama’s website rated better than McCain’s.

by Jamie Sanford on October 17, 2008

I totally called it yesterday with my blog post about the merchandising differences between the Obama camp and the McCain camp. Now, judges from the Web Marketing Association’s WebAwards have also spoken, and Obama’s website was chosen by a landslide.

Check out the press release here.

Search Engine Watch is also declaring Obama the winner of “the Internet war”

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Comparing the Merchandise: Obama vs. McCain

by Jamie Sanford on October 17, 2008

(NOTE 9/5/12: I’m disappointed in myself that I linked to images directly and didn’t think to upload them to the blog. I’m leaving the post here anyway because I really liked it.)

Anyone who talks to me for more than a minute could probably figure out that I will be voting for Barack Obama in a few weeks.  I’ve voted Democratic since I could vote, but I find it unfortunate that in the times I have been able to vote for president, my vote was not just about really wanting my candidate to be the president, but really wanting the other candidate NOT TO BE PRESIDENT.

Anyway, so I made a donation to Obama’s campaign today. I know how much things cost and I did my little part to help them get their message out to voters.  I didn’t give a lot, but I do believe that my little bit mixed with the little bits from others adds up and that works for me.

In August, the Boston Globe ran a story about how Obama was already outselling McCain on the streets with non-official merchandise.

So, while on, I checked out the merchandise area.  Examples of the items available:

Jay Z’s Obama T-shirt.

Obama Charm!

Diane von Furstenberg Obama tote bag.

There are many more, there’s a whole “Runway to Change” section where many designers have developed items to be sold in the store.  What I like about it is that there appears to have been thought put into these items – these are things that people definitely want to purchase because they relay a message and are also fun to wear.  This ranks highly with me, whether people like it or not, marketing is important in elections, especially ones of this magnitude.  If the Obama campaign can offer 35 different t-shirts with different looks and messages, I’m sure that more people will be wearing them and getting their message across.

However, am I surprised?  Not at all when I check out to search for merchandise.  First there’s this unfortunate-looking landing page telling us that the McCain products are being sold by for-profit companies and are not getting any money back to the campaign.  Even if the McCainians didn’t intend initially to have their own store, I would think they would see what the other side is doing and jump on it.  Either way, here is some of the available merchandise:

Palin Power magnet, complete with lipstick tube as the I.

The “country first” t-shirt.  Note that there are no shirts created in a ladies’ fit in the McCain shop,

Oh but they made men’s t-shirts in PINK for the women.  THANKS.

Also, here’s what’s on the home page of


Even if I was a moose-hunting Republican, I’m sure I would be able to see that McCain’s side is failing on the merchandising front.

Many people might dismiss candidate merchandise as a silly thing to focus on, but how many conversations are started by someone wearing a pin or a shirt or having a sticker on their car?  Obama’s camp sees the value in using their supporters as walking billboards, and also see that there will be many more billboards if they get to choose the message across their chest.

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