For those who read here on a regular basis you’ll probably have noticed something about me: I’m a complete poli-geek, and proudly so. As someone whose spent a lot of time working on campaigns, I’m always in learning new things, new techniques, new tactics and seeing new technologies brought into them. And given the way our society seems to evolve ever faster these days, especially when it comes to the technology side of things, it seems that there is something new every campaign to learn from.
So needless to say, I’ve been watching this campaign for just this kind of thing and to see how it is playing out in the campaign itself. Yesterday we saw a new technology rush onto the scene in a big way, with a short 15 second video that’s gone viral while sending a big message:
I didn’t see this coming? Nope. Is it awesome? Yup Is it not for the older cohort? Is it speaking to the youth where they are at? Yup With that viral TikTok video from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, he was able to not only communicate the whole thrust of his campaign in a short clip, it played to all of his strengths. First of all, it played to the fact that he’s genuinely having fun on this campaign and that keeps showing. That happiness keeps shining through at his events and builds on his hopeful message.
Secondly, the body language and facial expressions are brilliant. When they “Nopes” come, you see an unimpressed frown that’s strong but not too strong, along with the use of his backhand to point to the “Nope” topics. And when the “Yups” come, it’s his big, bright smile with a joyous finger pointing up, as he bounces along to the beat. It’s fun, it makes a point, it’s genuine, it connects and in the world of electoral campaigns, it’s pure gold.
But for those who need hard figures to make their case about the effectiveness of that video on that medium, according to Vice News, it had over 1.3 million views in less than 24 hours. That’s an insane amount of interaction in this day and age, especially for a piece of earned media. As Vice also pointed out, Singh has a total of three posts on TikTok, which have garnered over 2 million views. He also has almost 60,000 followers and 170,000 likes so far. For three posts, that’s a lot.
It turns out that Singh is the only party leader on this social media site, which is increasingly popular with the youth. So to see the NDP take this leap and making such an impact is impressive stuff and smart campaigning from the Orange team. In this day and age when parties are doing everything they can to find an edge on their opponents, it’s interesting to see that the NDP has managed to carve out this advantage for this campaign for themselves. It’s also interesting to see that no other campaign didn’t think to go here, especially given that millennials are the largest voting block in this election.
We will see on Monday if this episode has a big impact on the end result but at the very least Singh and the NDP have broken some new ground in this campaign that others will likely follow in the future. But at the very least, the Orange team has found another way to engage with a key portion of their supporters, to build support, to build momentum and get closer to election more New Democrats on Monday. It’s a cool innovation for sure, one that grabbed the attention of everyone watching this campaign and those who weren’t.