Signs Don't Win Campaigns, But Creativity Does

 I came across this article this morning and it made me laugh. I love creativity in campaigns.

In most local races, you’re competing with higher profile races for attention. The campaigns for Governor and Senate have nearly inexhaustible budgets, and they know that to make their message resonate, repetition matters. So they fill mailboxes with flyers and every commercial break with their ads.

You likely won’t have that luxury. So along with building a personal relationship with voters, it never hurts to get a little creative.

From the article, written by Dotty LeMieux, a Democrat operative in California:

Ginny decided Burma Shave signs would be fun and informative at the same time.  They would be sure to attract attention.

The signs read “Someone to Listen” “Someone to Hear” “A new Supervisor” “Is needed this year” “Vote for Dotty!”



It’s not overly complicated, but you can bet it stuck in voters heads better than a standard “Vote for Dotty” sign buried in a sea of yard signs.


Another good illustrations: about ten years ago, I was breaking into campaigns and had a conversation with a good ole boy consultant from the deep south. He told a great story about his candidate running against an incumbent representative who missed a lot of votes.

It turned out the incumbent not only missed a lot of votes, he also regularly vacationed at the beach. On the day his candidate announced to run against this incumbent, he set a podium up in front of the incumbents office, and dumped a truckload of sand around it.

He began with “Rep. Johnson doesn’t like to come to work. As a matter of fact, he’s not at work today because he’s at the beach. We thought since we haven’t been able to get him to come home from the beach to do the people’s work, we’d bring the beach to him!”


You can bet that when voters went to the polls, this is the most vivid image they had of the incumbent.

How can you make your campaign more creative? Look for details that set you apart from your opponent and build an idea around that. Something that is relatable to the common voter and not just policy differences. People will remember you for your creativity more than your stance on improving sidewalks and that can make the difference on Election Day.

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