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The key element of the publicity campaign behind President Obama's victory

23/05/2013 (dd/mm/yyyy) | Madrid

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Related documentation 

nytimes.com (12/11/2012)
washingtonpost.com (14/11/2012)


Whoever knows how to interpret big data will rule the world. This was the main conclusion reached at a session, hosted in Madrid this morning by the ESADE Alumni Marketing Club that featured a talk by Larry Grisolano, Chairman of the Analytics Media Group and Director of Paid Media at Obama for America. Mr. Grisolano is well-known in his field for optimising Obama for America’s advertising budget. At ESADE, he described his experience in the re-election campaign as follows: "We had incredibly valuable information about voters. We knew who they were, where they lived, and so on. In order to win, rather than use this data to tell voters who to vote for, we used it to ask them what motivated them to vote." Mr. Grisolano and his team created what he called "a model for understanding voters: we conducted research, developed metrics and created an algorithm that allowed us to figure out, using a coefficient, who among the undecided voters might react positively to Obama’s messages, so that we could address those voters exclusively. We won because we understood voters better".

But his job didn’t end there. Using his algorithm and data provided by television channels – including local ones – Mr. Grisolano figured out when and where these undecided voters who were open to Obama’s message would be watching television. With that information, the campaign was able to optimise the impact of its television advertisements. "One of our spots on a regional channel was more efficient than six of Romney’s spots on the top-rated channels," said Mr. Grisolano. The experience proved to him that "necessity really is the mother of invention".

Risto Mejide, Managing Partner at After Share, was one of the first to introduce Mr. Grisolano’s system in Europe. "We don’t want to be like Mad Men" he declared, "we want to be Math Men, obsessed with information about our consumers". He added: "Television advertising accounts for between 1% and 2% of Spain’s GDP and we must learn to use this tool in the best way possible. We have to target not those who are watching, but those who are really willing to buy. That’s where big data comes into play". Regarding Obama’s re-election campaign, Mr. Mejide observed: "One of the president’s greatest assets was his honesty – the consistency of his brand – in an era dominated by the Internet and social networks".




"One of the biggest emerging stories about the campaign that has ended is how Mr. Obama’s team used information and technology to outmatch and outwit a galvanized and incredibly well-financed opposition". The New York Times, 12th November, 2012.

"Most campaigns buy airtime based on television ratings for different demographic groups, selecting the shows they think likely voters will watch. In their attempts to find new efficiency, Obama aides threw that conventional wisdom out the window — instead choosing airtime only by the time of day and the channel. The result was a system they called "the optimizer" that took into account information gathered from door-knockers and phone canvassers when they picked whether to advertise on, say, ESPN or TV Land". The Washington Post, 14th November,2012.

The ESADE Alumni Marketing Club cordially invites you to come and learn about the publicity campaign strategy that underpinned the democrat victory in the most recent presidential elections. 

We will discover all about the Optimizer from its creator Larry Grisolano and its promoter Ruben Figueres, as well as Risto Mejide, who will be promoting its implantation in Spain.  It is a system that gathers all the information potential voters generate through social networks on a daily basis in order to classify it and then find out what their final ballot box decision may turn out to be. The key to this system lies in focusing on the audience in a specific and non-generic manner as well as completing the whole process with traditional marketing techniques such as phone calls, emails, campaign offices ... etc.

Welcome address: 
Jaime Valverde (MDMC07), Chairman of the ESADE Alumni Marketing Club in Madrid.

Larry Grisolano, Partner of AKPD and Strategy and Media Manager of the ‘Obama For America’ publicity campaign.
Ruben Figueres (Lic&MBA97), Chairman of Alario Group and advisor on Hispanic media at the ‘Obama For America’ publicity campaign.
Risto Mejide (Lic&MBA97), Partner and Creative Director of Aftershare TV.

José M. Palomares (DEC00 y PMD08), member of the ESADE Alumni Marketing Club.

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