AAPC’s first-ever Winning with Creative workshop, held June 29th in Washington, DC, featured 4 educational sessions led by top political professionals in digital, TV, video, social media, direct mail and more. This members-only event included the most up-to-date insights on Creative that cuts through for candidates and campaigns. Find some of the best tidbits and takeaways below:
The Psychology Behind Visual Content
Tips from Lindsay Morris, Sr. Manager of Creative Planning at Getty Images:
1. The key is to evoke emotions in your imagery. Images can change the world if they evoke the right emotions in the right people.
2. Authenticity is one of the most important aspects of Creative right now. People want to be able to connect with public figures more than ever before, and this is, in part, due to the candid and authentic pictures we have seen emerging in recent years. Very important to “pull back the curtain” of a political candidate or public figure, so the general public can feel connected to them.
3. Younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen X’ers, want to see realness in photos. They have grown up with digital surrounding them, and the second they see a disingenuous image, you have most likely lost their support.
4. Top searches for photos in the Getty Image search bank include words like, “imperfection,” “unfiltered,” and “real bodies” illustrating the authenticity trend.
5. Brands are creating messages that illustrate diversity and inclusivity, now more than ever before. They are using diverse imagery in their campaigns, as it speaks to younger generations.
6. The most popular images show trends that ultimately start in society. The father-child relationship is one that is seemingly changing, as more and more imagery is illustrating tender moments between a father and a child, rather than rambunctious play, or the father going off to work while mom takes care of the children. These trends begin in real life and we find that they wind up being portrayed in our imagery.
Irresistible—Victoria Stephen, US Postal Service
Tips from Victoria Stephen, Director, Mailing Services – New Products & Innovation at United States Postal Service
1. We cannot deny that digital is exploding, and most of time that leaves us wondering where direct mail fits in. The key is to use direct mail alongside digital and email—the channels complement each other to produce the best response rates.
2. Direct mail remains important because it captures a person’s attention. There is something about holding an actual piece of Creative rather than merely seeing it on a screen. This effect still leverages attention for more than a few seconds.
3. Nowadays you are able to track clicks online and follow up with someone via direct mail. This ultimately leads to far better conversion rates for products and campaigns making it a powerful tool for marketers.
Persuasion Across All Mediums
Tips from Ryan Horn (Vice President of Media Strategy at Sandler-Innocenzi), Elizabeth Eadie (Director of Creative Services at Bully Pulpit Interactive), Len Khodorkovsky (Creative Director at Jamestown Associates), Liz Oxhorn (Vice President Political Campaigns at GMMB), and Kelly Gibson (Partner at Hamburger Gibson Creative):
1. Your entire campaign needs to be focused around your audience. Build the proper audience and create specific content for these people. Also, don’t be afraid to meet your audience where they are—communicate messages and market in the most popular channels at that time.
2. It’s important to understand that visual is a language. We all speak this visual language and we all pull emotion from imagery we see in one moment.
3. You need to grab a person’s attention in the first 5 seconds of an ad, or they will most likely stop watching. Your ad or video could be amazing and beautiful, and it could win awards for its masterful creation, but if it doesn’t move the needle for your candidate then it wasn’t truly effective.
4. Sometimes the most powerful moment in an ad is when people stop talking—when we are able to read their facial expression and connect with the emotion behind their words. Focus on finding the story you want to tell and express it in your Creative.
5. Studies have shown that someone introducing themselves in the first 5 seconds of an ad with words like, ‘My name is…’ is extremely effective in grabbing attention from viewers.
Trends in Digital Communication Platforms:
Tips from Shannon Chatlos (Vice President of Digital at Strategic Partners & Media), Jenna Golden (Head of Political Advertising Sales at Twitter), Steve Johnston (Account Executive at Google), and Audrey Savins (Client Solutions Manager at Facebook):
1. Digital changes every single day meaning no one is a true expert. You need to meet with vendors on a regular basis to make sure you are current with new trends, products, and system features.
2. Keep the platform you are using in mind as you may need to have different messages for each social media channel. While Twitter is a great place for discovery and finding new content, other channels might be more informational or knowledge-based.
3. Targeting is the most important aspect of any social media platform. If you’re running an amazing ad, but the wrong people are seeing it, then it really isn’t effective for getting your message out.
4. Google’s bumper ads [six-second video snippets] are the way of the future. Creative content needs to be mobile and snackable. Find more information here.
5. Having thumb-stopping content is the most important objective right now; you want to make sure someone stops scrolling through their newsfeed to look at your video or ad. Make sure your videos are filmed vertically, since 93% of Facebook users are accessing their profiles using a mobile device.
Keep an eye out for the full recording of this special workshop which will be available online for members very soon.