Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up weekly. This edition of Digital Digest was edited by Rob Small, Matthew Beck, Erin Collett, Charlotte Macgregor and Kira Borys.
Any politico will recite the old saying “elections are won on the ground.” And while door-knocking, baby-holding and burger-flipping might still be best way to sell voters, the digital game is becoming more and more important with each election. After all, what good is a photo op if it’s only the people present who get to see you? If you’re running for office, why not send it out to your 30 thousand Instagram followers? But as we break down in this week’s digest, it’s not only the leaders, but also voters who are tuning into the digital election.
15 Seconds of Fame
When time is of the essence, campaigns have to be even more compelling to tell their story. Elections may be an old-school convention, but strategy is adapting, forcing parties to go after the advertising spots that are effective with messaging right off the bat (worth the click) to ultimately score them more votes. In the U.S., attention span is both more digital and video focused than ever – Google says that by 2018, 84% of all Internet traffic will be for video. With that, the upcoming elections have seen an explosion in micro-ads in the form of shorter, attention-grabbing spots on Snapchat and YouTube. The shift shows us that even the most traditional campaigns are changing – elections used to be about posters and long-winded TV ads, but those days may soon be over. When you have only seconds to catch someone’s focus, front-loading with messaging is key, and dynamic visuals (where appropriate, of course) are both crucial to capturing attention (and if you do it well enough, votes). [New York Times]
Strategic voting: As easy as ABC
As the debate heats up in the federal election, some people are considering casting their ballot – not necessarily for the candidate they like the most, but strategically to prevent certain parties from forming government. Strategic voting in Canada stems from the fact that the Conservatives are the only right-of-centre party, while the Liberals and NDP share the left. But after serving several terms, many on the left have the Anything But Conservative (ABC) fever. And that’s where websites like strategicvoting.ca come in. With over 500,000 visitors and one million page views, it aims to tell voters which candidate is most likely to defeat the Conservatives in close ridings. When it comes to Election Day, though, it remains to be seen if the anti-Harper sentiment is enough to unseat the longstanding Prime Minister. TBD on digital’s actual effectiveness here. [Global News]
Not all who wander are lost (but some need directions)
While number of votes for this election are already up from previous years, the majority of Canadian youth don’t vote. There are number of reasons (read: excuses) behind this, including millennials’ general apathy towards who runs the country and taking the democratic system for granted. For some, it’s hard to figure out which party they want to vote for (and let’s be honest, who will be the most likely to stay true to their election promises) so they feel not voting is a better than an uneducated vote (spoiler: this isn’t true). But that is a moot point! There a number of tools that can help make this decision easier. Vote Compass, a tool put out by CBC helps guide voters to which political party best aligns with their values. Designed by political scientists, the guide has you answer a series of questions and get a real-time assessment of how your positions compare with the political parties’ platforms. The tool is available on computers, mobile phones and tablet devices. Although the platform warns that it shouldn’t be considered voting advice, nor a prediction for the upcoming election, it’s definitely a good place to start, especially for newbies and anyone overwhelmed by the number of issues and where political parties stand. We know millennials are engaged online and highly influential – and besides, who doesn’t love a good internet quiz? So this weekend, instead of figuring out which Friends character would be your enemy, figure out which party you want to vote for and get out to the polls on Monday. [CBC]
Election app helps voters see past the attack ads
With the longest campaign in Canadian history almost complete, it’s safe to say we’ve officially been bombarded with political campaigns. Not only have we been exposed to traditional door hangers and TV ads, but this election, we’re seeing increased influence from family and friends through social channels. With the increase of information, it can be hard to sort through the clutter to make an informed decision. Like most of life problems, this can now be solved with an app! The new non-partisan platform and app Pollenize seeks to engage confused voters using aesthetic appeal and artistic design to bring you clear, to-the-point information about key party platform issues. The intuitive design targets apathetic young voters, who traditionally have been known to not show up on Election Day. As more and more citizens rely on digital media as their primary source of information, curated, easily digestible platforms such as Pollenize will become an increasingly important tool for voters. Still an undecided voter? There is still time, give Pollenize a try. [Global News]
Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest is a weekly bundle of links, served up on Edelman Canada’s Our Ideas blog. It’s also available by email. If you know someone who would like to be added to the mailing list, have any questions, or just want to share some thoughts on anything you read here, email me. Let’s get a conversation going.
October 16, 2015 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas