The days of assuming a certain middle of the road, sanitized approach to communicating is the best for branding, ROI and an eventual inspiration to act are over. There’s simply too much communication out there for the bland, boring overly wordy, safe place style of communication to matter anymore. The world we live in is bombarding us with messages at an ever-increasing pace from an ever-increasing number of sources.
Emails, reinforce texts, that reinsert themselves via Bluetooth enabled pop up ads, pre-roll video storms across our web searches, content marketing attempts to fool us into believing you care and television and radio advertising, (aren’t those cute) bombard us without stopping and that is just skimming the surface. The end result is that our over connectedness makes us actually less connected to the information we’re bombarded without cessation.
The answer is largely because all of that noise is inauthentic. The secret isn’t a big idea, versus 1000 little micro targeted ideas, but rather a real idea and a real unvarnished conversation about not just what you are, but authentically who you are.
In short, what we need is more HUMAN-TO-HUMAN communication.
Even though we swim through a vast sea of impersonal and overbearing communications we’re actually dying for something real and authentic to quench our communication thirsts.
The ramifications of this for brands or government entities is clear, no one wants to hear from a giant nebulous organization dispelling cookie-cutter noise. It’s even more relevant for political campaigns, which is essentially one person communicating to a larger group of people. Politician’s ratings are hovering at historic lows across the board. So, I promise the last thing people want to hear is some overly safe series of bland messages that someone believes is actually reinforced by the insertion of a random newspaper headline endorsement.
(Making newspaper headlines in ads stop is another story, but a conversation worth having)
Here’s the deal. Communicate from your campaign exactly like you would when speaking to a friend. Use research to make informed decisions, but be REAL, be EMOTIONAL, have a story to tell that is honest and insightful and quit being so damn scared of being a human, instead of just some high scoring polling bullets.
The why and the how are more important than the what.
When interviewing a candidate or person as a testimonial on anything, it’s obvious that we have to outline the bare essentials to create context - the who, what and when. However, what is far more important and emotionally compelling is the why.
Why did you feel that way? Why did you feel inspired to do that? When X happened how did you feel? In the future if your son is the next congressman from this state, on the day he’s being sworn in and you’re there watching, how will that make you feel?
Our lives are simply a series of emotional high points that are powerful enough to stand out in a sea of less consequential memories.
Get to those emotional high points, that’s where the humanity and thus the magic is.
Most campaign videos feature candidates sitting down speaking directly to camera for 3-5 minutes about their background and reasons for running. We agree and disagree with this. While it’s vitally important that a candidate get his or her story out quickly in video format to give voters a feel for them, nothing could be more detrimental than a long video featuring someone droning on at the camera for 3-5 minutes. It’s simply not the world we live in. The brain isn’t conditioned to pay attention to boring things. Blame evolution, blame social media, blame the hyper connectivity of today’s media environment, blame what and whomever. The reality is, that you either hook a viewer immediately or not at all. Therefore, what we should never do is lose a chance to inject some powerful, emotion-filled, visual content that gives a candidate and campaign some context and helps truly personalize why they want to help lead the country.
In 2014, we’ve got the distinct honor of working with veteran Jim Mowrer in his effort to unseat Steve King in Iowa’s 4th district. To help him kick off his campaign we produced this video in direct contrast to the way normal campaign videos are created.
Enjoy and support a great American:
The buzz word of the day is “data” – big data in fact.
The Obama campaign’s usage of data in a way never before seen in campaigns has made it part of what campaigns, especially new ones, discuss and want answers for.
While much of this technology (algorithmic buying, by cross referencing large amounts of consumer data in addition to the voter file) in traditional media purchasing (Radio, Television) is not yet applicable for campaigns because of cost constraints, we should not lose focus on what makes media consumable in the first place – CREATIVITY.
What use is delivering the right message to the right person if that message is so incredibly boring that the intended recipient simply ignores it? The answer is none.
While we should always focus on increasing the effectiveness of our ability to place messaging in the right place, doing so at the expense of solid creative is a strategic mistake.
It’s about the story and how well you can tell it.
It’s about the emotion – stupid. ☺
The question isn’t data or creative, analytic or otherwise, it’s both. An overreliance on either simply decreases effectiveness and ROI.
For everyone who thinks producing a running video about running for office is super clever here are a few thoughts:
Your story is the reason we work in politics. We are honored and proud to be part of your campaign team. Learn more and get involved with Jose's campaign by visiting JoseForCongress.com
“It's also the best campaign ad we've seen this season. (And we aren't saying that because we endorsed her.) Why does it work? Well, for one, it doesn't just tell us that Rogero has a vision, we get to see it. Literally."
Rev Media congratulates former Astronaut Jose Hernandez on his congressional announcement. Read more here.
In 2009, the Revolution team had the opportunity to create a series of interviews, ads, and devise an interactive strategy for "We Are America", a project for the Center for Community Change.
To date it has been one of the projects we are most proud of and has helped numerous immigrants get their stories out.
It was also partly responsible for helping get Yves Gomes a stay of deportation in 2010. Today we are proud to announce Tony Wasilewski's wife, Janina has been granted citizenship in the United States reuniting their family and giving Brian his mother back.
We are proud to have been a part of this project and wish the Wasilewki's family a wonderful reunification. You can read the full article in the New York Times here.
The day after early voting started, Madeline Rogero has finally released her first campaign ad. Read more here.
Available in English and Spanish.
1. Your recent Rising Star award confirms that you made a good career choice. Was the transition difficult from commercial advertising to Political consulting?
Great question. The answer is both yes and no. First and foremost, I’ve always believed the saying: “If you wake up early, go to sleep late, and bust your butt in between, luck is going to find you.” So from that perspective, the commitment aspect was pretty much equal. In both advertising and political consulting you certainly don’t work regular hours, and at the end of the day it’s your passion for what you’re doing and commitment to your clients and your ideals that gets you through the late hours, early mornings, and weeks on the road.
The only frustrating part of the transition to the political consulting world versus the advertising world is political consulting world’s commitment to status quo, or doing what’s always been done. There’s a lot of “we’ve always done it this way, so we’ll continue to do it that way.” It’s warranted where it’s proven successful, but in others (situations or cases?) it inhibits innovation and has a negative impact on the industry. It’s part of the reason why so many of the political ads look, sound and feel the same. Regardless of my clients´ previous success, I’ve tried to change that incrementally to help them; to bring a new affordable level of production, and creative concepts and ways of messaging into politics. And I’m going to continue to try.
President Colin Rogero named 2011 Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections Magazine. Read the full story.