How to Design Political Campaigns

A recommended structure for designing a political campaign.

Portrait of Sebastian Guerrini Sebastian Guerrini Buenos Aires

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A political campaign is a theatrical confrontation between different systems of administering power, styles that will somehow influence the lives of people and societies.

During the campaign, the way that candidates react from anecdotal situations and issues will symbolically demonstrate to the electorate how their administrations would be. In other words, the campaign is a process of anticipation done by the elector, who will interpret the candidates' behavior based on their gestures. The candidates then, can be seen as actors or even local heroes and muses that are disputing the political imagination of society. Accordingly and for their spectators and partisans, they are bringing a future into the present.

In this context, the campaign specialist should know that viewers only seek to interpret and understand images, and for that reason they are eager to find meaning in what they see, looking for the reinforcement or modification of their evaluations.

In its structure, the campaign has three key objectives: the construction of the social significance of electoral proposals, the struggle for the agenda of debate that is settled during the election and, finally, the overall rhythm of the act.

In the first case, the professional works on the role that the candidate will arouse in the electorate. Such a role will seek to be a reference of efficiency and coherency with certain rules for becoming the pertinent representative for a specific context. In summary, the axis at this point is about the meaning of the candidate.

In the second instance, the focus of the campaign has to be placed on the interpellation of the electorate. The campaign is now trying to anchor the most beneficial agenda for the candidate, an agenda that will empower the meaning of the aspirant. For instance, if the social trauma of the electorate fixed an agenda that required efficiency for improving a given scenario, the competent candidate will be the beneficiary.

The third case is about rhythm. The dynamics of a campaign is different than the logic of products: what is important in a campaign is the result of the rhythm but in pursuit of gaining the moment of the vote. That is when people vote, when the solidity of the candidate’s representation in the elector’s mind is requested.

Finally, a political campaign is a process of finding a collective sense, a course of interpretation of reality and social hope, both for the candidates as well as for the electorate, provoking as result a dynamic that any non-static society require.

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Portrait of Sebastian Guerrini
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Sebastian Guerrini
Apr 2014

Sure, there are also different ways on how left and right wings summarise their discourses: left hand parties generally contextualise a whole situation while on the contrary, the campaign of the right wing uses to take note of a particular consequences of such situation.

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Portrait of Valeria Lama
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Valeria Lama
Apr 2014

Besides everything you have said I think one important and crucial key of a great political campaign is graphics, because everything communicates and graphics should have coherence with the political discurse as well. Recently I bought a book about the graphic design in left-wing politic and itʼs very interesting how every poster or any kind of graphics are very much alike even though they are from different periods of the history. So I think that means the color, the typography, the uses of photography or any kind of image are preconceive based on what you want to deliver.

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