Barack Obama Did Not Approve This Lame Sports Metaphor

By Justin Petruccelli

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sen. Barack Obama may have a pretty nice lead going in the polls right now, but with less than a month to go, he's not looking to run out the clock just yet. In fact, his latest move shows he's looking to run up the score--and he hopes online gamers are, too.

Video game company Electronic Arts has confirmed that the Obama campaign has purchased advertising space in several of its most popular games for the Xbox, including "Madden NFL 09." The ads appear as billboards or stadium signs and are downloaded when players in key battleground states log in to play the games online. Of course, this isn't a route that the average small-business owner can afford to take, but the lessons to be learned are as obvious as some of John Madden's color commentary.

Stay Ahead of the Curve
Election season never fails to bring us cool new marketing strategies. This is a perfect example. And it's as much about your image as it is about the message you choose to put out there. If you're portraying yourself as a business on the cutting edge, your marketing should reflect that.

Be Laser-Focused
Sometimes winning an election is all about turnout. Obama will be depending largely on younger voters. EA's customers? They're males, age 18-34. If he can get them off the couch to vote, he'll be in great shape. If you can get your target market fired up, you're on the right track as well.

Be Nimble and Adaptable
The coolest thing about this form of advertising (besides the whole video game thing) is that it could presumably be changed to fit whatever's going on in the campaign on a given day. You can do the same thing for your business with blogs, social networking sites and other forms of Web 2.0 marketing. Connect with your market by making them come back to see what happens next.

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