The Top 5 Brand Marketing Campaigns of the 2016 Presidential Election - Social Media Explorer
The Top 5 Brand Marketing Campaigns of the 2016 Presidential Election
The Top 5 Brand Marketing Campaigns of the 2016 Presidential Election
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Election Day is the perfect day to reminisce about the 14,328 hours that have made up the 2016 presidential election. We’ve all gotten in on the political action at some point, whether it was through flash mob dances in pantsuits or Twitter arguments with bots.

With all of this political buzz, it’s no surprise that brands have gotten involved as well. It might seem risky for a company to get involved in such a divisive election, but keeping a neutral stance is a good way to “newsjack” the cultural buzz without alienating specific groups of consumers.

We’ve seen brands get involved in little ways, like tweeting with popular political hashtags like #Debates2016. However, the brands we’ve featured below have gone all-out to create impactful brand campaigns that are creative and engaging. More importantly, they’ve tapped into the existing online election conversation to amplify their brand’s message.

1. Doritos’ #BoldestChoice

Doritos collaborated with non-profit Rock the Vote to launch “Doritos No Choice”, which are flavorless chips made from cardboard. With this gutsy product, Doritos aims to make the statement that failing to vote is equivalent to choosing nothing. Distribution of the chips was targeted at people who were not registered to vote, both online and on select college campuses. These efforts have been constantly amplified on Doritos’ social media channels, where the product is supported by the tagline, “The #BoldestChoice is making a choice”. The campaign’s anchor video, featured above, has gotten over 3 million views on Facebook.

2. Excedrin’s #DebateHeadache

On the day of the final presidential debate, Excedrin promoted #DebateHeadache on Twitter with the caption, “Debates bring headaches, Excedrin® brings fast headache relief.” @Excedrin further supported the hashtag by tweeting out six related posts. #DebateHeadache proved popular throughout the day, as well as during the debate itself. According to TalkWalker, @Excedrin was mentioned 46,000 times, a 3,100% increase from the day before, and #DebateHeadache mentions shot up 602% during the debate itself compared to the hour before.

 3. Snapple’s “TEAcision 2016”

Snapple launched two “TEAcision 2016” limited-edition flavors, Red Fruit Tea and Blue Fruit Tea, and called on consumers to “pick red or blue without getting political.” The associated integrated marketing campaign was quite extensive, and included a TEAcision 2016 website with quizzes and tools, social video content featuring actor Michael Rapaport, “campaigning” at political events like the DNC and RNC conventions, and a Snapchat filter for the second presidential debate. According to social analytics platform Keyhole, the TEAcision campaign has garnered over 2 million impressions on Twitter in the last week alone.

4. #AudiDuel Commercial

German car maker, Audi, aired its “Duel” commercial during the first presidential debate on television and on its social media channels with #AudiDuel. The ad featured a reverse-video fight between a male and female valet as they each try to get behind the wheel of an Audi RS7. The commercial alludes to the presidential election with the tagline, “Beautiful things are worth fighting for. Choose the next driver wisely.” The video has garnered over 15 million views on Audi’s Facebook page and added significant engagement across all of Audi’s social platforms.

5. Pedigree’s #AVoteforGood Commercial

Pet food company, Pedigree, made a late entrance into the election-inspired ad scene, but the delay allowed their marketing team to target the specific issues raised by this election. The result was their #AVoteforGood ad, which taps into the divisive nature of the current political climate. The emotional commercial features a social experiment in which Trump and Clinton supporters are all brought together by a golden retriever searching for its owner. The ad went live on social media less than a week ago and has already gone viral, with over 2.4 million views on YouTube.

Whatever the outcome of the election, kudos to these brands for creatively capitalizing on this massive cultural phenomenon in a non-partisan way!

About the Author

Maha Chaudhry
Maha Chaudhry works at Renegade LLC, a social-inspired marketing agency. She recently graduated from Princeton University, where she studied psychology and health policy. Her interests include fashion and beauty in digital media. Follow her on Instagram (@mnc101).
  • thank you, This is a great article

  • Tiffany L.

    This is a great article! I love all these brands being a step ahead of some older brands choosing to use the election as a stepping stone to promote their brand. Every smart marketing team needs to know how to take any event happening in the world and turn it around to their brand. Great strategy to ensure your brand is on all consumers’ minds!

  • Chandler B

    I really love this article! My two favorite commercials were the Doritos and the lost dog. I think Doritos really stepped on a limb to make a point and just from watching the ad, I think it is effective. I personally only like the red Doritos. But if I don’t make a point to say that that is what I want, I can’t complain if I don’t get that flavor. Great comparison to the election process.