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He's Got Zazzle; She's Got Fizzle?

BY Editors | Wednesday, February 13 2008

A large chunk of this presidential election is shaping up to be about tone: big change vs. little change, hope vs. experience. To see how these ideas are manifesting themselves among voters, one needs to look no further than, the online site where people can design their own bumper stickers, buttons, and t-shirts.

Search for Obama and you'll find the first page of results packed with inspirational t-shirts, many with the theme of "Yes We Can." Through the first five pages of search results (as of this morning) the results are uniformly positive. There are "Yes We Can" t-shirts, bumper stickers, and buttons, "Republicans for Obama"-themed swag, "Latinos for Obama" stuff, "Barack to the Future" t-shirts, and many just with his face or the campaign's official logo. There's nothing about any other candidates. The depth and breadth of the slogans and voter-generated content is impressive

Hillary's Zazzle page couldn't be more different. Many of the items are negative (the bumper sticker here being just one example) and a good number of items are actually about Barack Obama. In fact, on the front page of results only approximately one-third of the items are pro-Hillary. The lead item is a t-shirt for "Billary" and the fourth and fifth items are both Obama paraphernalia.

Zazzle appears to be another solid example of how Hillary's campaign just doesn't inspire voter-generated content in the way that Obama's campaign does, which is a good proxy for grassroots fervor. Just like on YouTube, where we've seen the emergence of multiple pro-Obama viral videos without any real answer from the Clinton side. If Barack goes on to win the nomination, as appears increasingly likely this morning with his sweep of the Potomac Primary last night, it will because of the "people-powered" support he's getting online thanks to his online fundraising and energy on sites like Zazzle.