Is it too late for Hillary Clinton?
To change her brand positioning? To win the political marketing fight?
(Political) Campaigns are marketing, candidates are brands, and (Donald) Trump is the strongest in the race.
Brand power…results…from two features: a brand’s differentiation from other brands and its relevance to its intended public… By those two criteria, Trump dominates utterly. He is completely unlike all other candidates, and he is far more relevant because he’s real – he talks naturally, not like a politician…- Fortune
Hillary Clinton started her Presidential marketing campaign in June, 2015. Research on the debacle of previous campaigns revealed that people found her to be inauthentic, cold and emotionless. Hence, for this campaign, she had to rebrand herself and show her personality.
“Her problem is that she doesn’t represent the future — she is a tired brand in a market that is exhausted,”….“They’re looking for people to look at a new narrative of Hillary Clinton. But her brand is entrenched, so settled, it’s very difficult to wake up and say it’s a new Hillary Clinton.”- Politico
…Clark and Spence are focused on developing imaginative ways to “let Hillary be Hillary,.. and help her make emotional connections with voters– The Washington Post
It seemed to be working initially. But then came the whirlwind called Donald Trump. He completely upended political marketing rules and hogs headlines almost daily! Caught in the storm, Hillary Clinton has tried responding in a similar manner but that could do her more harm than good.
“Today, 10 months after her announcement, many of her speeches (New Hampshire), ads (Children), and campaign slogans (Hillary for America) are about ‘I’– she’s focusing on her product attributes, not benefits to voters,”- Jamie Prieto (O&M), AMA
So how can she fight Trump by staying true to herself while also connecting with today’s generation? I am itching to take on this challenge of coming up with clever and innovative ideas for her political marketing and rebranding campaign.
But to get clutter breaking ideas, the promise or slogan needs to be clear and consistent. Donald Trump has stuck to his very strong slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ from the start of his campaign. It spurs people to action.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has changed slogans almost 7 times from the start.
“Stronger together” is by some counts the seventh slogan Clinton has employed throughout her campaign. Others include, “I’m with Her,” “Make America Whole,” “Love and Kindness,” “Break Down Barriers,” “Build Ladders of Opportunity,” and “Love Trumps Hate.”-Townhall.com
So before I proceed with ideas, I am going to create a slogan for her and use that as the base for the ideas.
If I were marketing @ Hillary Clinton…
My USP or Campaign Slogan-
America fast Forward- It encompasses all the issues Hillary Clinton is supporting; talks of the benefits to voters. It also says that if you have liked Obama’s government, we are going to build on it. Its energising and concise.
My Marketing Objective-
Communicate America fast Forward using a tone and manner that shows her as authentic
- Minorities (African Americans, LGBT)
- Middle Class families
Sticky Marketing Ideas:
Tie up with the most popular and widely spread food chain or coffee chain such as Starbucks. Change the name of their in-house wifi every day. The password for accessing the wifi should be the same everyday- ‘Hillary Clinton’. This will act as a reminder to customers, everytime they connect to the coffee shop wifi. So each name could mention an issue she is campaigning for. The password acts as a signature- ‘Hillary Clinton’. Example- ‘Paid family leave can take America fast Forward‘ or ‘Delete your account’ or ‘Zero college loan can take America fast Forward‘, etc.
Mirror print ad
Do a full page print ad innovation in the leading dailies of select cities. The entire page will be covered with a lightweight thin mirror. The message at the bottom would say- Your vote will take America fast Forward. Be wise. Love, Hillary.
Car key wobbler
Take the fight to the ground. Get offline. Place a wobbler shaped like a car key on the side mirrors of parked cars in select cities. The message on the wobbler- Care to give a lift to your LGBT fellow Americans? Help America fast Forward! A wobbling car key on side mirror is unmissable and memorable.
Subway station announcements
Every hour, before the train is about to arrive at the subway station, an audio announcement commences- Paid Leave for Family can Take America fast Forward. Want to get onboard? Change the issue every hour but connect it to America fast Forward and getting onboard.
Twitter, Instagram and Netflix Countdown
Do a countdown to Election Day on Twitter, Instagram and Netflix (an uncluttered medium). Start the countdown at 100 days. Tweet one specific step that Hillary Clinton is going to take to ‘Take America fast Forward’, adding upto a total of 100 definite steps to achieve this. Donald Trump is all rhetoric and inflammatory comments, no concrete plans. So, in contrast, this will instill confidence and authenticity.
Hillary’s Day Out with Social Media people
Invite about 30 most influential social media people and journalists to spend an entire day with Hillary Clinton. They get to capture her entire day on a time lapse video and share it with their followers. Time lapse video can show the amount of effort she is putting in to take America fast Forward.
Time lapse video explaining issues
Create a time lapse video explaining the steps Hillary Clinton plans to take under each issue. It has to be completely visual, using animation and doodling to show each step. This will make it self explanatory and easy to grasp.
Online learning sites
Every American registering on online learning sites like Lynda, Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, etc can be sent an email saying ‘Hillary Clinton congratulates you on your efforts to improve your skills. We support you to support yourself to take America fast Forward. The email can also carry a custom widget that students can download on desktop to keep timetable of the courses and assignments on these sites. Workforce skills and job training is one of the important issues she is supporting. Hence, this is a perfect fit.
Don’t know if this is possible but if it is- next to every single American profile on Linkedin, a small single line banner ad can come saying- We would love to support you in your skill development because only you can take America fast Forward. Users will get a notification as ‘update to your profile’
Whatsapp A Question
Though Whatsapp marketing is laborious and time consuming, it is extremely effective. To show people how approachable and authentic Hillary Clinton is, announce a Whatsapp number on which people can chat with Hillary Clinton. It should be a limited duration chat on which people can ask any one question to her. She would answer it.
Small business consulting van
Take a double decker bus and wrap it with branding. Call it ‘Doorstep Business Consulting‘. Small business owner/entrepreneurs can form a group and register to invite the bus to their locality. The bus can be fully equipped and advice small businesses and entrepreneurs. Alongside, they can also explain the small business initiatives Hillary Clinton will take as President. A double decker branded bus will capture media attention too when it is plying the roads.
Dumper truck/garbage van wrap
Wrap every dumper truck or garbage collection van in select cities with messages like ‘Dump Trump’ or ‘Throw away your worries on jobs’ or ‘Dont waste your vote on shenanigans’. Since dumper trucks ply city roads all day long, their visibility is extremely high across neighborhoods. This is an innovative unclutterd medium for sending out appropriate messages.
Since Hillary Clinton is game to trolling Donald Trump, her political marketing team can create an online and mobile game called Dump Trump. The game could be like Plants vs Zombies. People of all ethnicities, gender and preferences are happily walking through the cityscape. Suddenly, ‘garbage’ starts zooming out of windows above and near, aimed at the citizens. They try to dodge the ‘garbage’ and capture it in dustbins. Everytime they catch the ‘garbage’ in the bin, a victory blurb appears- Trump Dumped. The interesting part is that the ‘garbage’ is actually outrageous, insensitive comments made by Donald Trump.
These are some of the unusual political marketing ideas for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Do you think they can help turn talks in her direction? I would love to hear your feedback in comments.