Andrew Yang: A New Way Marketing Campaign

25 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2021 Last revised: 4 Dec 2021

See all articles by Tami Kim

Tami Kim

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

This field-based case uses the political campaign of Andrew Yang, who was a candidate for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, to explore building brand awareness using digital channels and the application of marketing tools and strategies in a nonbusiness context. The case follows Yang's initial launch as an unknown into the political arena and how that status changed after Yang got noticed online, and a large group of young people became supporters. This superfan base—the Yang Gang—helped catapult Yang's name recognition and campaign donations into the big leagues. The Yang Gang made memes and video games, championed Yang on social media, showed up at rallies, and provided an endless supply of money $20 at a time. Yang appreciated them—he connected with his superfan base. Many fans seemed to think of Yang as being one of them. How would the campaign ensure that Yang appealed to the broader, more reliable, traditional voter base? The case closes just before the Iowa caucuses. Had the campaign spent money in the right place? Was their approach to the Iowa caucuses on target? Did Yang's campaign get his branding right? Should the campaign continue to buy TV ads or focus on digital going forward?

Excerpt

UVA-M-1018

Rev. Jan. 25, 2022

Andrew Yang: A New Way Marketing Campaign

You can't just be good, you've gotta be different. When you've got a crowded field, how do you stand out?

—Zach Graumann

As he looked at the flat and frigid landscape of West Des Moines from Andrew Yang's Iowa headquarters, Campaign Chief Nick Ryan couldn't help but reflect on the past year and where they presently were, just before the Iowa caucuses for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Ryan knew that the first two bellwethers for voters were the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Ryan had never worked on a political campaign, and Yang had never run for a political office. A month after Yang announced his candidacy, his book, The War on Normal People, launched. Within the published material, Yang shared his concern over vast job loss due to automation and artificial intelligence, as well as a solution that included a $1,000 monthly basic income for Americans between the ages of 18 and 64. Key to the framework was that the money to pay for the program would come from a value-added tax and spending reduction on social welfare programs. He had big ideas; some of them were unconventional.

. . .

Keywords: digital marketing, brand awareness, consumer marketing, brand positioning, disruptive innovation, customer experience, omnichannel marketing

Suggested Citation

Kim, Tami and Yemen, Gerry, Andrew Yang: A New Way Marketing Campaign. Darden Case No. UVA-M-1018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3970580

Tami Kim (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
124
PlumX Metrics