Campaign groups yet to exploit the power of virals
It’s a wonder that so few Lisbon campaigners have sought to use a slick viral ad campaign to sell their message to the electorate.
Notwithstanding Michael O’Leary’s five-minute rant on YouTube, most groups appear to see the poster arena as the main canvassing battleground.
One imagines a well-executed viral campaign could have a significant impact on a modern audience, who have become fatigued with the same dreary, inane circuit of slogans and faces adorning their lampposts.
A recent British study suggested virtual advertising – from Facebook messages to e-mails, texts and mobile applications – was fast becoming the most important medium for advertising, surpassing even television.
A good example of a locally-based campaign viral is the latest offering from Marriage Equality, which gets its point across in a persuasive and clever way.
The re-worked Budweiser Wassup 2008 viral was watched by over four million people in its first two weeks on YouTube last year and was considered to a have made significant contribution to the US election.
The ad reassembled the characters of the 1999 hit viral at the end of the Bush administration and urged people to vote for political change.
European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland has just released its own video on YouTube, entitled “The Lisbon Treaty’s Social Side”, which aims to give a neutral overview of how Lisbon impacts on social issues and the direction of the European Union.
While not a viral ad, the video, produced by Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology graduate Dan Flynn, illustrates just how effective and engaging the medium can be when utilised to highlight the issues.
EAPN director Anna Visser said the agency is concerned that Lisbon campaign is once again being over-shadowed by political gamesmanship and personality contests.
She said: “The video briefly and clearly explores important issues like the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Citizens Initiative and the Social Clause”.
“We are a non-partisan organisation and we’re not asking to people to vote for or against, we’re simply asking people to go to the polls armed with the facts,” Visser said.