Every Political Candidate Has Stories to Tell. The Right Images Can Make Those Stories Even More Effective.
If you ask a political consultant what it takes for a candidate to get elected, most of them would probably say "Money." Or maybe "Connections." Of course, those consultants can be pretty cynical.
I think it boils down to things like "Personality," "Hard Work," and a "Compelling Life Story."
But regardless of the candidate and the narrative created for him or her, powerful visuals can help them connect with potential voters.
Step One: What's The Story?
Effective campaigns usually create a narrative around the candidate, or a "brand position" to put it into marketing terms. Examples include "The Outsider," "The Experienced Incumbent," "The War Hero." and "The Problem Solver."
The stronger and more specific that narrative, the easier it will be to create supporting visual ideas.
Here's an example—a local attorney named Ethan Pham decided to run for U.S. Congress. If elected, he would have been the first Vietnamese Representative ever elected in Georgia, and possibly the entire southeast U.S.
Ethan's actual life story is pretty amazing. He immigrated to America when he was only 11 years old. He had worked most of his life—through high school, college and law school. When his parents lost their jobs during the recession, he bought a chicken farm in North Georgia, and earned enough to employ his parents AND finish his law degree.
Introducing Ethan Pham
To visualize that story, we traveled to North Georgia and filmed the chicken farm. We filmed all around District 7, at City Hall, the Court House, and various City Parks. And of course, we filmed Ethan engaging with people—lots of people—representing the backgrounds and diverse ethnicities of his future constituents.
To underscore his message about jobs and economic development, we showed both blue and white collar workers, in construction, healthcare, and high tech.
$50,000 in 48 Hours
The video was completed on schedule, along with his website and Facebook page. Everything went live the day he announced. Donations began appearing almost immediately, both online and in person.
In the first two days, he raised $50,000, got over 500 Facebook likes and more than 3,500 video views.
Reintroducing John Eaves
A few months after working with Ethan, I got an opportunity to shoot yet another political video. This one was for John Eaves, who had just entered the Atlanta Mayor's race.
John's story was completely different from Ethan's. He had been Chairman of the Fulton County Commission for over ten years, and had years of accomplishment under his belt.
To visualize his story, we filmed him in his office, in the Commission Chamber, and on the road, interacting with voters.
The video for John ended up being called "The Last Day." It was literally a documentary style chronicle of his last day as Chairman. To watch both of these videos, you can click here.