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March 14th, 2014

How to campaign like a boss. (Of the free world.)



If you exist on this planet, you’ve seen the sitting president sit down with Between Two Ferns host, Zach Galifianakis. Topping the long list of celebrity guests, from Bradley Cooper to Justin Bieber, President Obama showed off his surprisingly dry side in an effort to plug his controversially insufficient website, Healthcare.gov. The White House confirmed that the site has received five million hits since his cameo on Funny or Die – gaining more applicants than any effort in the past.

President Obama’s current website challenge is to recruit more youth (and less olds) before the March 31st enrollment deadline. So love him or hate him, the comedian-in-chief made a very smart, strategic move with his webernet appearance. But it’s not the first time a chief of state has taken a non-traditional route to plug a presidential agenda. Remember when George W. Bush swooped into Deal or No Deal? (We all dealt with that, too.)

Sure, it might seem like a cheap trick, but it works. Because knowing your audience is crucial. And speaking their language, even more so. That’s why we took the time to understand millennials – what they watch on TV, how they engage online, which radio station they’d marry. (It’s always been you, NPR.) If you can grasp your target, nail the media placement, and strike with a strong call-to-action, you can expect a lot more attention. Even when you’re trying to encourage cube jockeys to play hooky during the big college hoops tourney.