Today the Obama campaign unveiled “Forward,” a seven-minute video highlighting his campaign strategy for the election:

Similar to the 2008 concept, “Change,” this one-word slogan captures a vague sense of movement without articulating a strategy, end, or principle. The movement this terms evokes is no more than a different state than we’re currently in, and a positive trajectory. (Similar to the term “progressive?”)

The content of the Forward video previews the talking points for his campaign. It begins by blaming events prior to his taking office for the uphill battle he’s facing, then blames the Republicans for blocking progress.

The video recycles the “Republicans are the party of no” theme and goes on to tout the captures of Osama bin Laden and ending of the War in Iraq as major victories.

Three-quarters of the way through, the video singles out the middle class as his target audience, directly addressing their concerns and articulating his support for them. He follows-up by a series of accomplishments, a sort of laundry list of opinion-tested items from “Auto Industry Saved” to “Equal Pay for Women Protected.”

Oddly, the end of the video points to the URL, the website of “Attack Watch” fame that has as its motto: “every time a baseless attack comes to light, we’ll arm you with the truth so you can spread the word.” Just as the Attack Watch concept became the “laughing stock of the internet,” conservatives have picked up the #Forward hashtag on twitter to ridicule its message:

The Obama campaign clearly has message-tested the attributes that Americans find positive about him, but this video and the slogan “Forward” indicates that they had trouble finding a unifying message that actually means anything. Thus, he’s left for a second time with a slogan without any meaning. Notice also the change from the 2008 font to the current one, with serif. Perhaps the serif font is an attempt to appear more solid, statesmanlike? Will people buy his marketing this time?


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