Added Value polls the emotional response of voters following the Obama Infomercial

30 Oct 2008|Added Value

After the Obama infomercial, Added Value polls the emotional response from Americans: “Our feelings have not changed.”

Added Value today updated its ground-breaking EBC analysis of US citizens’ emotional responses to Presidential candidates following Obama’s half-hour infomercial that aired last night. Despite the millions of dollars spent, Added Value concludes that it had virtually no impact on attitudes towards Obama.

US commentators had described the infomercial as a likely deal-breaker or deal-maker. The EBC result indicates that it was neither, with the emotional intensity surrounding the campaign outcome remaining unchanged from the EBC survey conducted a month ago. However, it suggests that newly registered voters, women and African Americans all have an intense investment in a positive outcome for Obama, making him likely to maintain his campaign momentum.
Added Value asked US citizens, “What was the single most important thing you took away from the Obama infomercial.” There were four broad emotional responses among Americans according to Added Value:

  • There was almost no difference in the Emotional Intensity Indices between those who watched Obama’s infomercial and those who did not.
  • The negative respondees did not speak against Obama’s policies per se, but some expressed fear of the candidate
  • Positive respondees, who significantly outweighed the negatives, were more concerned with solutions to specific issues, and the big picture of what ‘they want America to become’ – a message which Obama has played through the campaign with ‘Time for Change.’
  • The “undecideds” have far less vested in the outcome. Without a clear sense of the consequence in their lives, they’re unable to make a decision.

Says Paul McGowan, CEO Global Clients, at Added Value; “Voters act on how they anticipate the politicians will make them feel. In other words, what is the (emotional) consequence of that choice?

“Obama has been asking Americans the same thing we did with our survey: imagine what your life will be like in a few years. How does that make you feel? What we’re seeing are young voters, newly registered voters, African Americans, and women all having an intense investment in the outcome, much more so than their counterparts.

“The intensity of these feelings is driven more than anything by the clarity, consistency and timeliness of the identities of each candidate.

“Obama has been incredibly disciplined, steady and consistent. Like Apple, Virgin, Harley and other iconic brands, we’ve learned what to expect from him. It’s easy to distinguish what’s in and out of character. He has defined voters’ expectations and does not veer far from them at all. This is a marked contrast from McCain, who has been an erratic, reactive moving target.”

Added Value has also used archetype theory to assess each candidate’s personality over the course of the campaign. Obama clearly emerged as a ‘Hero’ and his archetype has remained unchanged. McCain however, has drifted from ‘Sage’ – wise and experienced at the outset of the campaign – to ‘Regular Guy,’ the same archetype as George Bush from whom he has sought to distance his candidacy.

EBC is based on the neuroscientific learning that individuals act because the consequence of that action will make them feel the way they want to feel which is determined by a range of unconscious emotional reactions.

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