Article


Vanguardia’s proactive involvement in election strengthens local brand

by Armando Castilla        

“You Write the Future” initiative asks voters to share the responsibility of the electoral process, using a highly visual campaign, mobile voting research, social media, and “bathroom” opinions.


Click the image to view a larger versionAs a newsmedia company, Vanguardia believes that our involvement with society must go beyond providing information to our readers. We know well that we are important players and that together with our community, we write what is happening in the present as well as a script for the days to come. 
 
As a part of the electoral process in our state, we decided to participate actively with our “You Write the Future” campaign, which had three purposes: 
  1. Be the media of record for finding the most complete information on campaign activities, proposals from each candidate, the facts occurring in this environment, and veracity in analysis and statistics, followed by the opinions of experts and citizens. 
     
  2. Create a dynamic and common interaction platform to promote a greater pool of more informed participants on Election Day. 
     
  3. Strengthen our bond with the community in a responsible way. While other media had messages of personal strengths in their advertising campaigns, we decided to promote a message of shared responsibility, to generate commitment and emphasise the importance of the decisions of the electorate. 
The slogan “You Write the Future” featured a supplementary message: “The future is written today,” which we also used prior to Election Day to refer to the fact that our daily actions are crucial — that we must be not only spectators who are informed, but also share and discuss our opinions. 
 
We also knew we would have to integrate and exploit the different platforms of our media. As mentioned earlier, we hoped to stimulate interaction and to encourage participation. Thus, the campaign was composed of the following elements: 
 
Urban media: At the time we were making our analysis of graphic creativity, we came up with two alternatives — let the messages speak for themselves, using the power of the text, or tell the story through the critical eyes of ordinary citizens. We discovered a bigger strength in using images of the citizens, contrasted with the faces of the four candidates. This resulted in a good visual balance by using urban graphics in more than 40 locations within the southeast region of the state. 
  • Print advertising: Arts in the daily edition of the printed Vanguardia featured the two central messages and the citizens’ faces. We took great care at the photo shoots so the pictures would show the intended expression on their faces. 
     
  • Mobile voting urn: Our research department developed a survey and implemented it using a voting urn, changing its location as needed. We wanted the results to be spontaneous and to sample tendencies depending on the area of the city. Yes, sometimes, members of various parties discovered our location and came to “vote” in groups; in such cases we had to close the box and change the location. In the elections of recent years, our surveys have always been very accurate in reflecting the final results. 
     
  • Social media: Both messages and newspaper polls were published frequently to encourage interest and motivation to stay involved. It also was a strong channel both a couple of days before as well as on Election Day for emphasising the responsibility to vote. 
     
  • The bathroom: It is the perfect place to be “alone” and to express a “confidential” opinion. So we built an enclosed cabin and equipped it with a toilet where anybody could get in and write an opinion which was recorded and transmitted on our Web site and our YouTube channel, with an extract published in the print special section. Like the mobile voting urn, we changed the location of this cabin to random locations frequently. 
     
  • Face-front to Coahuila: We were the only newsmedia company in the state that offered a discussion format for comparing answers and proposals. We achieved this through a dynamic game in which the candidates had limited time to talk about specific topics and answer questions that other candidates had previously asked. We recorded the sessions and published them as a special transmission. 
     
  • “You Write the Future” special print section: We included all the information in our print edition in a complete, fair, and balanced way. All candidates had the same amount of square centimeters. Here, readers could find all the information about activities and events, as well as opinions of and proposals from the candidates and other political actors. Readers could also find the opinions of citizens from the cabin (bathroom), as well as the results of surveys and letters to the future governor. Our readers had at their fingertips the best information that was impossible to find in any other media. 
The response from our readers was highly positive and our influence in getting out the vote was the highest in history. We are proud to know we were both drivers and protagonists.





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