Chickens coming home to roost

On Friday I attended the Fieldays in Hamilton. One organisation that had a stand there was the Conservative Party. I blogged last week about their graphic announcing their attendance there.  At their stall they had a full height banner all the way around it. On it were a series of images of chickens, with bubbles of text describing the type of chicken. I wasn’t going to blog about it, since it isn’t social media. But they posted a modified version of this campaign on their Facebook page:


There are two aspects about this that I want to talk about. Firstly, if you are trying to get another party to help you out in an electorate, so you can get into Parliament, ref here, is it really a good idea to go around personally attacking the people who will be making that decision? Especially if you are admitting on TV that you have no hope in winning at electorate if a candidate from the party you are attacking is running. Even worse is using a reference that most people in New Zealand aren’t going to get, who also happens to be dead. They do have 27 shares, which is not a bad number for a page with under 1700 likes. However the true measure of political communication is reaching, and generating a positive response, from people who do not already support your party.


The other element I want to talk about is the actual execution of the graphic. If we take the view that this was a good campaign idea to run, did they execute it well? I don’t think so. The issue is the size of the text.


Even when you view the image in Facebook’s image viewer, the text is still pretty small:

Untitled 2It would have been better to run each of this chickens as a stand alone image, with the text. It would be a lot easier to read, and may get even more shares. There would also be the ability for people to share one or two of the images that they agree with, and not the others that they don’t agree with.


I have commented in the past about too many words on a graphic, this one has to take the cake for the most text heavy graphic so far. Even if they did divide the graphics up into 4 distinct graphics, they would still be massively word heavy. Social media should be about making simple, easy to understand points, with links to deeper information, not throwing loads of small text at people.