Politics is at a crossroads. Soon, we’re going to see the structure that’s been in place for hundreds of years drastically change. Why? Because of the Internet. It’s already changing, and it may be healthy.
So, how is it changing you ask? Well, we talk about this theme a lot, but we can’t stop driving it home. Personality is what people want to see, friends. Branding is becoming reflective of this, and that trend is only going to grow until politics has to adapt.
Last week, Mashable put up an article called “10 Sassy Brands on Social Media”. It explores the brutal, dark, humorous, and outlandish nature of these brands that are dominating the social media landscape. In doing so, sales and creativity are up. People want these brands. At least, I really want a Loco-Dorito taco after reading this piece. See, their social media efforts are inspiring name recognition and demand for the product.
That’s going to infuse with the landscape of politics soon enough. A younger, informal generation is getting into the scene, and some “snark factor” will be in demand for a candidate. Boring issues-based campaigns aren’t going to win. Candidates will reel in success from stumping about their personal lives, families, and telling a funny joke, just as successful stumping worked by attacking the other guy ten years ago. As the demographics shift over the next decade or two, politics is going to be completely different. The cut and dry campaign isn’t going to cut it, and it will be left out to dry.
What can you do if you’re thinking “I’m running that cut and dry campaign?”
Shake things up. A comfortable breakdown of content that might be successful as a start could be as follows:
25% of your media content should be on the issues. This should be formal, composed releases that follow the traditional method of speaking out on an issue.
25% should be on your campaign. Talk about where you’ve been, who you’ve spoken to, what interesting thing you learned from interacting with someone – that sort of stuff.
25% should be about you. Who are you as a person? What insights do you have? Reflections? This is where you should show who you are when you’re off the stump.
The final 25% should be random and magnify or compliment who you are. Talk about what new series you’ve been watching, what funny thing you saw on the street, how much you love this fast food restaurant. Whatever. Show your personal side and try to spice things up. Be that “sassy brand”.
Of course, we don’t want you to exploit humor from two old ladies like Kraft does, tweet utter nonsense like Skittles, or promise “nothing” like Newcastle, but the themes are still valid: people want to be entertained, even the most unreasonable and serious political activists out there want to hear a joke or insight.
By shifting your methods and changing your voice, you’ll insert needed energy into your campaign. Momentum and support will follow. And hopefully, victory will as well. Don’t be reckless and irresponsible, or offensive. But, craft a better message and get it heard. Social media is your open forum.