This year's AAPC (American Association of Political Consultants) conference was an extraordinary event. Connell Donatelli and Campaign Solutions (basically Becki Donatelli's political companies) won a ton of Pollie Awards for our political and public affair marketing work. I'm pretty sure nobody has come close to winning abound the 40 awards we got this year. The one I'm most proud of is the award we won for best use of new technology for the search marketing work we did for Senator McCain.
You long time readers know my involvement in the campaign in the search marketing work, but in my zeal to promote the work I often didn't think I gave enough credit to some of my team members. It really was remarkable work that a small group of us did all of Senator McCain's work in addition to the RNC's. We spent millions of dollars for both McCain and the RNC and that was just in the last 10 weeks of the campaign - you folks out there in corporate America would be jealous of the marketing. Some of my favorite memories.....
- Meeting with Rick Davis as part of the Straight Talk America PAC and listening to early Presidential conversations and political tactics; none of those meetings would have occurred if it wasn't for Becki Donatelli. I also wouldn't have had the drive or the experience if Becki didn't share her knowledge with me.
- Ryan Waite and Jason Johnson were the creative geniuses behind some of our best banner ads and creatives that we ran. Most specifically, the hippie Hillary ad that superimposed Hillary's head on a hippie body. That ad as I remember had click rates north of 2%. The other famous ad we ran was One Man Video which was a flash ad with 5 seconds of Senator McCain leaving as a POW; the great thing about that ad was that it included video inside standard flash size limits.
- Jackie Huelbig whom I've known for many years was our ace reporting genius who probably had the toughest job around - she had to put up with relentless requests from me and Becki when we had to know yesterday what the results of our search campaign were and how much money we brought in the hour before. Jackie was also the one that helped me clean up a lot of the ads and loaded up the hundreds of video and display ads into Google AdSense.
- And finally, of course the campaign that pretty much gave me free reign to do what we needed to do; I can only remember one ad that was rejected and that's because I thought it was controversial enough during the Michigan Primary that I wanted a check.
This video that Ryan produced for our AAPC award is a great summary of the importance of our search campaign. It features Peter Greenberger from Google, Rick Davis McCain's Campaign Manager. Friend and former RNC eCampaign director Cyrus Krohn. Give it a watch - it shows how a well run search marketing campaign can handle rapid response, email and donation generating tactics, all while bringing much needed branding and traffic to issue pages. It really was an awesome experience.