Calling to Action: What Australian Political Parties can learn from Marmite

so in this week’s PHDcast we’re talking Aussie election, which kicked off (officially) this week with a deluge of media and collateral, including these two efforts from the two leading parties, Labor offer us a New Way:

whilst the Liberals are offering us a New Hope:

there will no doubt be other places and spaces where the ads themselves get debated and dissected, and aside from the observation that naming an election slogan after Star Wars Episode IV is just plain awesome, we’ll leave all that to one side for the moment.

there is one difference between the two ads though that I think is important. it’s a really subtle but I think significant difference in the dying moments of each. quite simply one has an embedded call to action and one doesn’t.

help_kevin

Labor’s video has not just a specific call to action in the copy, but an embedded ‘click to volunteer’ button in the video.

in the podcast, Stew (who anchored magnificently) asked me for the advice I would give the comms teams in the election, I commented that at the moment there isn’t one communications strategy, there are several (broadcast, social etc).

the big opportunity it seems to me is to join the dots … and identify very specific roles for comms, with all roads leading to getting people to act … if people act early, cognitive dissonance will kick in and people will act to maintain consistency with their perceived beliefs when they get into the booth.

that the Labor ad gets that its not just an ad may seem to be a simple and indeed obvious distinction, but its a simple and obvious distinction that its Liberal counterpart – nor a great many commercial brands for that matter – grasp. which brings us of course to Marmite, who this week unleashed this awesome little gem:

the predictable and ridiculous backlash has fortunately been met with a truckload of praise for the ad … but the sheer entertainment value that the ad provides aside, the communication is a gold-standard example of two really important aspects.

one, it doesn’t take too much pondering to work out that there is a very specific business issue being tackled here. the team have clearly done their homework and gone beyond ‘consideration’ or ‘like-ability’ to identify a specific issue that they’ve gone on to tackle head on.

two – and this is where I’m making the tenuous link to Australian politics (because its my blog so I can) – there’s a clear and integrated call to action strategy. the video ends with a clear call to action that is an integrated and consistent extension of the creative construct of the ad:

marmite_cta

this then takes you through to an owned-media platform from where you can interact to your heart’s content:

marmite_cta_2

there’s one last aspect for both of these that I think bears repeating, and that’s the importance of cognitive dissonance – the first fundamental assumption of which is that “we all recognize, at some level, when we are acting in a way that is inconsistent with our beliefs / attitudes / opinions. In effect, there is a built in alarm that goes off when we notice such an inconsistency, whether we like it or not. For example, if you have a belief that it is wrong to cheat, yet you find yourself cheating on a test, you will notice and be affected by this inconsistency.” (source)

the really smart opportunity is that by getting people to act within a communications content (for a brand or a political party), you potentially establish and crystallise such a belief / attitude / opinion. when people subsequently come to a supermarket shelf or a polling booth they will – according to the theory – be more inclined to behave in a way that is consistent with said belief.

in short … a integrated, powerful and engaging call to action, far from being the tick-box exercise at the end of the ad, can be the linchpin of the whole communications operation. given the choice, you’ve got to love that.

featured image via Herald Sun

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s