We’ve seen it before. First with Barack Obama, when his team leaned heavily on social media and digital platforms to create a surge of support which got him elected, and again for his second term in 2012. Then in subsequent campaigns both in the US and the UK in particular, including the Brexit referendum. And now, in a country which struggles to keep Prime Ministers in office longer than a few months, a new Australian PM has been chosen – thanks largely to a clever digital campaign.
Dubbed as a “miracle” win, Scott Morrison and his fellow Liberal Party MPs were re-elected in recent days, surging from behind and supposedly out of nowhere. The win has been largely credited to a clever but simple digital campaign involving 24/7 video ads and excellent campaign planning.
It seems that even a candidate in a supposed losing position can shoot out in front if the right campaign is run to support them. In this case, heavy use of well produced video posts was the deciding factor.
According the Sydney Morning Herald: “Morrison’s Facebook page attracted 25 percent more interactions – reactions, comments and shares- than Bill Shorten’s, while the Liberal Party’s central Facebook page had almost double the levels of engagement its parallel Labor account had.” The campaign got twice the attention on video platforms than their nearest competitor, and 50% more likes on instagram.
The Australian reported: “Within an hour of something going wrong for Shorten, the Libs would have something running digitally to exploit it. Facebook and Instagram were the key platforms, whether it was a video of Morrison cooking a curry or a savage lampooning of a Labor mis-step.”
This clearly shows that digital can have a significant impact on the outcomes of campaigns, elections, referenda – in fact anything where the public are being asked to cast a vote or share their opinion. It looks like this is the new norm. Stay tuned, for an election coming your way soon.