#Obama gave the #DA a blueprint for #digital election campaign

During the month of November, I saw #MyFirstTime video and if you saw the smile on my face you would know I was not thinking politics. The objective of the video was to encourage youth or “born frees” to register to vote but importantly to make a sound & informed decision that will affect their livelihood. Within a matter of seconds, I laughed after discovering that Barack Obama also used #MyFirstTime promotion video during his 2008 presidential campaign.

South Africa is headed for what is likely to be it’s first heavily competitive election campaign. Most political parties are targeting the “born frees”, hence they have included online media in their strategies.

The African National Congress (ANC) has over 82 000 followers on twitter and DA has just over 46 000 followers . However, ANC has a Klout score – a measure of influence on social media that ranges from 1 to 100 – of 74 and DA has a score of 89. This proves that DA is the biggest influencer on social media. In order for DA to increase numbers on social networks and also convert these to votes they will have to pull out all the stops.





Obama’s 2008 election digital campaign gave a blueprint for digital electioneering. After the ‘Know your DA ‘ campaign I’m sure the DA Communication Manager looked at Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and said “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There are so many similarities to the digital campaign and here below are the few that stood out.






You can also read: #Socialmedia will play a huge role in South Africa’s 2014 national elections


Remember the “change” Barack Obama poster was an iconic image of Barack Obama designed by artist Shepard Fairey.


Now I wonder what other tactics from Obama’s 2008 election digital campaign will they use? Perhaps DA will use celebrities to encourage the “born frees” to vote? Hey, DA can also do campaign songs. One thing I know for sure is that the DA will not be preparing a victory speech as yet in South Africa (SA), but if they are ready for the challenge here is the Barack Obama election victory speech, 2008 too for them to use.

Mr MMusi Maimane is highly confident about the DA’s digital campaign concept and strategy. One has to wonder if this will work to DA’s advantage and drive their objectives effectively. Will they be the leaders in securing the “born free’s”? And importantly, how effective will their digital campaign work in SA?

2 thoughts on “#Obama gave the #DA a blueprint for #digital election campaign

  1. Great post, Palesa. The similarities you picked out between Obama’s 2008 and DA’s 2014 election campaigns are striking, indeed. One hopes this was not a direct copy and paste, as the South African political landscape is still light years behind the USA, thus electorate profiles are different. As an example, “born frees” – who are essentially eligible voters born since 1994, and thus between ages 18 and 20 years old – are still too tiny a constituency to make a dent in the 2014 elections. I suspect the DA is starting the 2019 election journey now, and s using 2014 elections as a practice session, which will make sense why they are focusing on the born frees, as this group will be a sizeable chunk in 5 years time.

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