I don’t like election signs, Sam I am. I would not like them on a boat, I would not like them with a goat. I think they’re an eyesore and I’ve often questioned their effectiveness. Until recently. Here are 3 real life examples that showed me new ways in which election signs and other marketing materials can be effective and affective.
1. Neighbour’s Lawn Sign, Example 1
Walking around the ‘hood the other day, I saw a big ol’ ugly sign on a neighbour’s lawn. I know the people who live at this house and happen to like and respect them. I think they’re kind and funny. That’s pretty much my criteria for deciding on if someone is a good person, by the way. So when I saw the sign on the lawn advertising a certain school trustee (I have no idea what a school trustee does), I thought, oh cool, if they’re supporting that person, then I guess I will too. At the very least, I now have a name on the ballot toward which I have a smidge less blank-faced ambivalence.
2. Neighbours’ Lawn Sign, Example 2
The house where I used to live is next to and across the street from two households of unseemly characters. I have had many opportunities to pass judgement on these people based on behaviours they’ve exhibited directly related to me (one called my kid an idiot after he heard her crying while walking outside his house, I guess when he was trying to sleep off a bender at 10am on a Sunday; the others, also likely sleeping off benders, let their two dogs escape out their open front door, enabling said dogs to maul my other neighbour’s elderly cat to death – just two examples). Upon observing that these two households are now sporting lawn signs for the same ward candidates, that clinched it for me who not to vote for.
3. Flyers and Canvassing
Recently I got a call from the front door of my building from someone looking to be buzzed in. By way of explanation, they said that they were canvassing for the election and have the legal right to enter residential buildings. Bully for you, I thought, but I wasn’t about to let them in. As I was giving the caller the name of the building management company, she hung up on me. When I got home, I not only found canvassing flyers for one of the mayoral candidates stuffed into the door cracks of each unit, but also a flyer for a real estate agent. That clinched it for me in terms of not voting for said candidate.
OK, I admit, these are all arbitrary reasons for voting/not voting for someone, but when there’s so much doublespeak, mixed messages, posturing, and politics involved in choosing a candidate, I figure these reasons are as good as any other. The other point I’m making is that one can never anticipate what unintended and unanticipated outcomes a marketing campaign can have. Very little of it is actually in your control.