Attracting the attention of the media and the public in an environment crowded with messages can be very difficult, so thinking creatively, strategically and searching for new ways for you or your message to stand out is important.
A year ago, HGC began working with a political candidate who was about to launch a campaign.
The candidate was well-respected but not very well-known outside the city where he had built a successful law career and spent considerable time in public service. We needed to get people talking about his campaign launch and candidacy in a positive way, while also helping the media and people across the province begin to know him a bit better.
We chose to produce a short “teaser” video, showcasing a relatively unknown side of the candidate’s personality, that would surprise and hopefully excite people. The intent was to demonstrate a toughness and remove the candidate from the typical political environment of offices and business suits.
It’s important when taking an approach like this, that you aren’t making your subject something they aren’t – otherwise there is the possibility this strategy could backfire. In this case, the candidate is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and rider, so he was completely comfortable during the shoot, dressed as he would normally dress for a ride and on his own machine, complete with the dog tags of his beloved pets on the key chain. (Another side of his personality that was great to show!)
On a beautiful fall evening, we shot the footage in an empty parking lot. With a few hours of editing, a classic rock soundtrack, and a few words that hinted about what was to be announced, we produced a short video that was intriguing, interesting and frankly very cool!
We sent this out with a provincewide media advisory the evening before our planned launch event and pushed it out on the candidate’s social media channels. The media noticed it quickly and began commentary and speculation that drove up the interest in our candidate and his event. The next morning, radio and TV talk shows and the newscasts were talking about our candidate, showing or referencing the video and we had full media attendance at our launch event.
With some creativity and a few hours work (which frankly was a lot of fun!), we had managed to get people talking about our candidate, raise his profile, and show another side of him; one that was fun yet exuded a toughness, but was very relatable to many people. It was a great tactic, that cut through the typical political chatter that occurs in the early days of any political race and increased the profile of our candidate.
This strategy can work in many situations, whether you are promoting a product or want to raise the profile of an upcoming event. It can work as an internal communications strategy or one aimed at a very large audience. Sometimes a small element of surprise and intrigue is all you need to help maximize your exposure.
Check out the video below