It is the eve before important local elections in South Africa. A full moon is slung in the dark night sky and, looking at it, I wonder if this is the Universe’s way of giving this eve her quiet blessing; a hopeful sign of new and inspiring things to come.
Elections and the hype around them have become a germane part of our lives in South Africa, now today as much as they are a part of the history that brought us here. The long lines of voters in the first free and fair elections are as recognizable an image locally as the man who brought it all about himself – Nelson Mandela.
So with all the rumblings out of the mouths of people in offices and the places we choose to hang out in, you have to wonder why, when it comes to crunch time, people are so tediously ambivalent. In 1994, 86.87% of the population voted in the National Elections. In 1999, 89.3% turned out, dropping horribly to 76.73% in 2004, and barely any better with a dismal 77.30% in 2009.
It’s not only South Africa that has this problem. Voter-psychology all over the world will surprise us time and time again. Perhaps it is smarter-hitting campaigning that we need from our politicians, with more dynamic and relevant messaging that addresses the symptoms as well as the problems. Maybe it’s time that our local political parties got savvy and sat down with energetic, pulse-driven communications agencies and worked together with them to do what they do for any other brand; put the ‘product’ in the line-of-site of its target consumer by way of the right communication, pitched at the right level, in order to ultimately accelerate buy-in.
Turkey has clearly suffered a similar national lethargy, resulting in Publicis BOLD, Istanbul creating this engaging print campaign. Rather than taking the option of regurgitated statements and promises from campaigns gone before, the agency used the forum to tell Turkey nationals that far too many people have been keeping their silence for far too long, and the time has come to grow up and vote! Now we’re talking. The power of thought-provoking media and politics meeting on the same playground the nation plays on.
Now it is time the local political melee for airtime took a step back and considered what their message is, who they are trying to reach and how they are going to best put it into the hearts and minds of the people they want to elect them back into their jobs. Cardboard photographs on street poles aren’t doing it for me. It takes a true leader to change a nation. Why not start with how you talk to them?
Sure, a slight deviation from the regular content here, but what part of a blog is not political? It’s all opinion anyway, and when we are lost of that, what do we have left? Martin Luther King Junior said that our lives begin to end when we become silent about things that matter. Who can we blame if we choose this?
© Copywriter Dylan Balkind