Lights, Camera, Message

Lights, Camera, Message
May 30, 2017
Brett Buerck

For the Season 4 premiere of House of Cards, we released our Top 8 Frank Underwood Quotes and how they apply to voter contact tactics. You can read that here.

The character of Frank Underwood certainly has a unique way of delivering his message. That’s Hollywood and part of the show’s popularity. Underwood’s lines and tactics as he claws his way through Washington, DC, are some of the most memorable from the show.

Without the lights, cameras, and crews of Hollywood, though, how do you deliver your message?

We’ll turn once again to Frank for the answers.

"First, you must learn to pull an oar. Only then can you take the helm." 
You have to know the lay of today’s land. It’s not enough anymore to wait until Labor Day to start campaigning. It’s not enough to walk door-to-door, deliver a few palmcards, and put up yard signs. Today’s winning campaigns are sophisticated and steeped in data that drives targeting and messaging. You have to know who you need to talk to, what makes them tick, and the best way to reach them. Data is key, but knowing how to use it is more so.

For Example: Data from website visitors or mobile advertising can be used to retarget them and continually drive home your message. Repetition of message is necessary to persuade and motivate targeted audiences.

"Politics is no longer theater, it's show business. So let's put on the best show in town." 
That sentiment has been a foundation of our firm for over 20 years. We have never settled for “good enough” or the political advertising world’s version of it. That sophistication that comes with data demands a high level of creativity to ensure those people you are targeting are captured by your message. Getting the message to the voter is one thing. Ensuring they see it is another. Our brand of creative taps into emotions, whether that be frustration, anger, happiness, contentment, fear, or sadness. Emotions are the ultimate persuaders and motivators and help you define yourself as a candidate.

For Example: As Season 5 opens, America is reeling from a terrorist attack at home. Underwood needs to both comfort and lead the nation and build himself up on the emotions of the electorate as the protective, trusted, and experienced choice.

"I will not allow you to become dangerous." 
You’ve defined yourself. Now it’s time to define your opponent. Contrast messaging is the bridge between your positive and negative messaging. A well-crafted contrast ad will open the gap between your opponent and your campaign and give voters a clear choice at the polls. Again, the use of emotions here is important to create the motivation voters need to turn out and cast their vote.

For Example: The Underwood campaign can build upon their positive messaging and contrast with the Conway campaign’s weakness on national security.

“We don’t submit to terror. We make the terror.” 
That brings us to attack messaging. This is the foil to your positive messaging and builds upon the contrast you established with a head-on attack on your opponent. Whether print or digital, you need to put enough weight behind your attacks that they resonate with voters. Majority Strategies is the only mobile technology tested and proven to deliver to a targeted voter universe the level of repetition needed to successfully drive a message with significant recall. Get in touch with one of our strategists today to see the full case study.

For Example: The Underwood campaign can expand on its contrast messaging on national security.

Think of your message not as one individual scene but a collection of scenes that build into episodes and ultimately the “season” of your campaign.

There’s an arch to every story and opportunities along the way to use a variety of mediums to deliver a message that builds upon itself to the right audience at the right time. Repetition is key to ensure people recall your message and are persuaded and motivated by it.

Get in touch with us today to get started on crafting your story.