Every election year, newsrooms face the same questions: How are we going to report them and what will make the difference between our stories and the ones on other media outlets?
In 2021, Argentina’s legislative elections became the first elections to be held during the COVID-19 pandemic. But even more unusual was that the candidates of the main parties weren’t well known by the people.
With this in mind, the social media and video teams at La Nación began meeting to decide what type of product we were going to deliver to our audience. We ended with three objectives in mind:
- To be useful to our audience. We wanted our audience to be able to decide which candidate to vote for by viewing our videos.
- We didn’t want to make “funny stuff.” We wanted to make enjoyable and “easy viewing” videos that upheld the excellence of our journalism.
- We wanted to have our videos on every platform. We wanted to see our videos being used in other accounts and being transformed into memes. We wanted to be viral.
What we did
We created two formats:
- One in which the candidates reacted to different videos that were trending at the moment (from a viral video of a hip hop artist to a quote from the president).
- Another format in which the candidates gave their opinion about different topics (abortion, marijuana, economy, etc.).
The idea was to understand how they think and, eventually, how they could vote in these matters.
We asked them which president had been the country’s best, how they would resolve the inflation problem in our country, their position on legal marijuana, and in which currency they saved money, among other questions. We record the candidates in our newsroom to have a comfortable atmosphere for them to explain their thoughts. We didn’t want to have the look and feel of a TV set; instead, we wanted to have a relaxed vibe in our videos.
How we did it
We decided to have all the candidates in every video. We wanted to give our audience the chance to listen to all of the candidates speaking about the topics that matter to them.
Our production team (formed by Sol Coliva, Mercedes Pappa, Belén Fangio, Gastón Balatti, Fátima Nowotny, and Eze Díaz) contacted the candidates and scheduled an interview in our newsroom. All the interviews and video material were supervised by Victoria Achinelli and Matías Boela (editorial editors).
We decided to make videos that were “Internet friendly,” dynamic, innovative, and informative. To achieve this, our design team (formed by Paula Pilijos, Andrea Platón, and Lucía Galli) made a common and unified aesthetic for all the videos and images related to this election. Then our motion graphics and video edition team (formed by Pancho Ferrari, Carolina Nussbaum, Matías Aimar, and Julieta Bollini) edited the videos in three formats: 9:16, 5:5, and 16:9.
We delivered the videos on every platform (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube) during the week of the elections and had excellent results. The videos we made for the primaries and general elections achieved more than 13.3 million views in two weeks.
During the week of the primaries, our videos achieved more than 9.2 million views, and during the general elections more than 4.1 million.
Two of our videos got more than 1 million views on TikTok as well as on Twitter, and we became a trending topic three times. Also, many artists and musicians took our videos to express their opinion, and a former president of Argentina also replied to one of our videos.
Results of this campaign
For the primaries and general elections, total multi-platform views numbered more than 13.3 million views in two weeks. The primaries received more than 9.2 million views in one week, and the numbers by channel were:
- YouTube: 238,480 views.
- Facebook: 326,907 views.
- TikTok: 2,117,400 views.
- Twitter: 4,295,889 views.
- Instagram: 2,242,010 views.
In the general elections, total multi-platform views numbered more than 4.1 million views in one week:
- YouTube: 351,151 views.
- Facebook: 515,167 views.
- TikTok: 1,042,000 views.
- Twitter: 1,146,208 views.
- Instagram: 1,092,710 views.
Overall, the campaign was considered a big success.