With the polls opening tomorrow, we can now see the kind of marketing each party has decided to use. And if it did them any good. Some have been promoting themselves and others opted for attacking the competition.
However, these in-house political marketing teams are facing a challenge that’s never seen before. They are now in a world of Trump-age marketing. Marketing Week has said “Donald Trump has rewritten the rules of political communication” and we think they may have hit the nail on the head with that comment.
His string of outrageous statements about everything from race to global warming, has dominated the media during the majority of the 2016 US election. He drew all the attention away from his political opponents (apart from when he was criticising them). Using this attention to bombard America with tweets and outrageous statements to keep their attention solely fixed on him.
This has made marketing for the general election, so soon after the US election, difficult due to the unsure footing Trump left in his wake. This new territory has led to some in Britain’s political parties to use his tactics to gain notoriety.
Boris Johnson has always been known for being eccentric and has often taken to Twitter to voice his opinion especially during the lead up to the vote to leave the EU. Some of the others parties such as The Conservatives have taken to Twitter and predominately Facebook to attack Jeremy Corbyn. This of course has lead people to question how much damage he could cause the British economy.
The Conservatives have also been highlighted by the BBC to be running ‘dark’ advertisements on Facebook. They’ve been trying to highlight Teresa Mays favourable leadership ratings, like the example below.
They have also taken advantage of other parties failings. For the Conservatives, this is most evident when highlighting their main rivals, the Labour Party.
The Liberal Democrats have been on the offensive as well attacking primarily Theresa May for not being easily accessible by the public or the media in a video comparing her to their candidate Tim Farron , who was been seen a lot in the company of the public during this election.
Labour however had decided to include (amongst an array of other marketing methods) a more of a light-hearted approach in some cases. Like with their “Watch cat videos and register to vote” campaign.
During the 2015 election, a combined 1.3m was spent on targeted Facebook ads. This figure can still be expected to be rivalled, if not beaten due to the effectiveness it has had on a huge media savvy audience such as the UK.
The current status across the UK is the Labour Party is by far in front with almost half (49%), the Conservative Party on 21%, Lib Dems on 14% and the SNP and UKIP on 7% and 9%. This shows that Labour has been hitting it out of the park with their search traffic for their site. This also supports the view that they are targeting younger people and trying to keep them engaged.
We can see it is not just the Partys to have effective PR as the people have their own say on the matter with YouTuber Captain SKA posting a song that mocks Theresa May calling her #liarliar for going back on what she said about calling a general election. This proved to be very effecting getting to No3 in the top UK chart and gaining notoriety because BBC Radio 1 refused to play it.
So what does this say about UK politics and its marketing for this and future elections? Well, where we have no one quite on the scale on social media infamy as Donald Trump, we do have an overall rise in its use to sway voters to each side. We can also see it used positively and negatively so I would say watch this space Britain. There could be someone with big ideas and a tendency to Tweet at 3 in the morning coming to its political stage in the near future.
Written by: Dan