Online retailer's presidential poll

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Get out the vote

Zazzle.com tried to engage fans with an election poll based on purchase behavior
Zazzle.com tried to engage fans with an election poll based on purchase behavior

The Offer: Zazzle.com, an online platform for customized gifts, posters and apparel, inaugurated a campaign in January in an effort to engage its community of fans. The goal of Zazzle's “2012 E-commerce Presidential Election Poll” was to attempt to predict in real time the outcome of the primaries, debates and ultimately the election based on the purchasing behavior of its customers. Progress was tracked on Zazzle's blog, with links back to politically themed merchandise.

The Data: The poll commenced before Super Tuesday, closing on March 5 with the completion of the primaries. Zazzle.com houses more than 2.5 million custom political

designs and over 1 million clothing items with a political bent. The site receives approximately 10.4 million visits per month, according to Web analysis firm QuantCast.

The Channel: The poll was promoted on Zazzle.com, which claims to be a politically unbiased third party. Its customers can upload whatever custom designs they want regardless of political leaning. Zazzle also maintains a Twitter handle (@ZazzlePolitics) through which it retweets political news. As of press time, there was a large discrepancy between the number of tweets (91,689) and followers (336).

The Creative: Visitors can browse Zazzle.com based on political proclivity. Popular product categories include Republican hats, Democrat bags, Ron Paul T-shirts and Obama mugs.

The Verdict:

Stephen Malbon is CEO and founder of The Malbon Group, a content development and marketing company split into three divisions: BON, a creative agency; Frank151, a lifestyle brand; and The League, a creative community. The company has worked with Casio and HBO, among others. Read our Q&A with Stephen for more.

Zazzle meant well, but missed the mark. The consumer graph is visually dated and the poll is virtually unimportant. Using sales data to show which candidate is winning with consumers could be more interesting and novel. There could have been a more interactive way of accomplishing what they did here.

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