Presidential Launch Series: Hickenlooper & Inslee
Although the Iowa caucuses are a little under a year away (with the general election even further away), several Democrats are already launching campaigns to take on Donald Trump in 2020. Join us on this series as we talk through the strengths and weaknesses of each digital campaign launch. Next in the series is Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Governor Jay Inslee of Washington.
Amy: I like him!
Mariel: I like him, too.
Amy: I really liked the video.
Sara: It was a really good video. I think the thing was–it felt authentic. Authentic in that midwestern way, with the photo of him in his coke-bottle glasses and the nerdiness. Clearly he knew that a lot of people probably didn’t know who he was and he really needed to lean into that and his accomplishments as Governor. I think the narrative is really strong. It’s a strong video.
Evelyn: I love his ads, too. When I say uniformity, it feels like these two lead ads are in dialogue with one another and are connected.
Sara: And I like how these are more beautiful hero images versus the Inslee ones that are just his head. With this climate one, you have the Rockies in the background and you have what I assume is probably the state capitol. It evokes more of where he’s from and it feels, again, more authentic.
Mariel: He kind of breezes over the fact that Colorado has one of the most successful state economies, and I think that’s going to be a really awesome and strong point for him because he can come out and talk about marijuana, which is an issue that a lot of people want to hear about and we’re likely to see legalization passed in all 50 states in the near future. I think he can be a leader on that and demonstrate that he has gotten things done on the cutting edge of progressive issues. He can back up what he’s saying and I think that’s really important.
Amy: I liked that he talked about the things that he cares about by saying, “Hey, here’s what we did.” Like the gun laws, for example.
Sara: His ads are folksy. Like midwestern folksy. I like this sort of faded treatment on the images. You just know it’s his ads in the feed.
Mariel: I like him more after seeing his whole video!
Amy: Well, he definitely has an angle with stopping climate change.
Sara: He’s running a lot of ads now. Granted, I joined his list, but I feel like I see his ads all the time.
Mariel: Yeah, and he’s also running on this issue at the right moment, like with the Green New Deal. It’s the issue right now and he’s capitalizing on that and that’s great. He’s obviously super dedicated to the issue, but that’s a very narrow scope that he’s running on. We don’t really know anything else about him and I think because he also doesn’t have a super high name ID, he needs to be giving more bio than just talking about climate change.
Amy: Yeah, he’s really taking a risk that A.) enough people will care about this enough to vote for him and this makes me think of Mayor Pete’s video where he mentioned climate change and I think he actually did a better job of getting the urgency across while also talking about the other issues that he cared about and giving bio, specifically about our generation being really affected by climate change. That was a big issue, but it wasn’t only climate change.
Sara: I almost feel like this guy doesn’t think he’s actually going to win, but running as a one-issue candidate and then getting the visibility for climate change (well, if he qualifies to make the debate stage), really makes this an issue. The only thing I wish we saw more of was the intersectionality of the issue–I think there are other candidates out there who have talked about climate change really impacting poor communities, specifically.
Evelyn: I think it could lend itself so well to really nice, slick unified ads, which you kind of see with a few of his ads, but then you’re also seeing some random stuff as well. I wish the ads were more unified because it feels like it could be a really strong issue-based campaign.
Sara: It also just feels like it’s him.
Evelyn: We don’t know who he is yet, and he’s not really using his bio, so pictures of him in ads don’t really make sense at this stage.
Amy: Yeah, actually we don’t really know anything about him from the video even, except that one person in the video calls him ‘Governor.’ I don’t even know where he’s from!
Evelyn: On his donate ads, I do like that he’s using that extra-large vertical video.
Amy: With custom captions!
Sara: Yeah, the creative is a little all over the place. There has been a donate ad that I’ve been getting that says something like, “Put the spotlight on climate change” and has a spotlight shining on Earth. I really liked that creative–it made me stop when I saw it in my feed.
Amy: This almost feels like a ballot measure campaign. He’s only talking about this one thing, so whoever’s working for him will need to think of 5 million different ways to talk about climate change.
Mariel: Yeah, in some of these donate ads, he doesn’t even say he’s running for President.
Sara: Well, you know what his thing is.