Last week I read an article that
stated 85% of consumers could not recall any political advertising
from the recent election campaign. In addition to this, 60%
of respondents in this study also said that the main political
parties did not, in their opinion, successfully communicate their
messages to the electorate.
These findings got me thinking, had I
seen any of the party campaigns? What did the creative look like?
The honest answer to these questions isn't good. None of the
key party campaigns spring to mind unprompted.
So why are people like myself
Perhaps it's a result of the false
promises made during last year's EU referendum as 60% of consumers
said that they are less likely to believe political advertising
following the Brexit vote.
Maybe it's just a general feeling of
people having a lack of connection with the key political leaders
and their parties.
Or it could be due to confusion caused
as a result of the large amount of fake news stories appearing
within our social media feeds or within the content we consume
online. According to a BuzzFeed news analysis, in the three
months before the US election the best performing fake news stories
generated more engagement than top stories from major news
outlets. The 20 top performing fake news stories generated
over 8.7million shares, reactions and comments whereas the top 20
genuine news stories generated just over 7million.
The phenomena of fake news is still
very much a hot topic. Facebook announced last month a commitment
to introduce new technology on their site to better identify
accounts that spread spam or fake news and as a result, deleted
thousands of UK accounts in response. Vodafone also revealed last
week their plans to block its advertising from appearing on fake
news websites or sites that feature hate speech, saying "they will
no longer tolerate their brand being associated with this sort of
abusive and damaging content".
So getting back to the topic of this
article, the key party ad campaigns. This year the strategic
approach across key parties was pretty different from the more
traditional campaigns of the past which focused heavily on outdoor,
leafleting and press. Social media was the channel of choice
to reach and influence voters, and of course slag each other off.
This approach may have led to the low awareness levels found
in the study.
In case you're like me and missed some
of the online buzz for this year's election, you can find a good
summary here of the best ads along with some non-political brands
jumping on the election bandwagon: