ANCHOVY. were approached by entrepreneur Ivan Bartolo to lead his political campaign as a new candidate in the 2017 general election in Malta. His goal was to make an impact in his district by appealing to a younger demographic of voters, who may have become disengaged with politics due to past misconceptions about corruption; and to start to change the way campaigns are done locally by being one of the first to truly embrace digital and social media, whilst running a campaign with dignity and integrity. Here is how we went from ground zero to one of the most influential new comers to local politics:
We wanted to establish the focal points of Ivan’s campaign, as well as to make them accessible and approachable. We wanted to find out what would appeal to his audience, make them care about what he has to say, and allow him to stand out from his competition.
We did this by identifying the main pain points for voters, which mainly revolve around a lack of trust in the information found, as well as the candidates themselves, which is what also causes people not to vote at all.
We also mapped out the process of voting, which made it clear that the core of the campaign needed to provide clear, easily accessible information, which is transparent & honest.
It is equally important to identify and target the right audience, both from a district perspective, but also by identifying a specific end user built off various traits that would be associated with the target audience, in order to ensure that the tone of voice – as well as the overarching communication strategy of the campaign – would follow a cohesive narrative.
This rationale lead to the necessity of a landing page where users could access any information they required, which would, in turn, be fuelled by a social media campaign to help garner more awareness.
To aid in showing trust, we wanted to give the public direct access to Ivan, by allowing them to set up meetings over coffee, as well as mass user sessions over live video streaming via the then emergent technology of Facebook live.
We created the wireframes for the landing page with the end user in mind, strategically placing information to flow easily and clearly, through a well-established tone of voice that we felt would best communicate with our audience
Through visuals, we wanted the audience to feel they could get to know the real Ivan Bartolo, by sending a photographer with him in his day to day life. We took raw, unstaged, almost “street” photography to truly capture the essence of Ivan and show what he is all about in the context of his surroundings. This also fuelled the visuals we created for the landing pages and the overall campaign.
Ivan was new to the political scene and needed a graphic representation for his campaign. We didn’t believe that the right route was to create a symbolic visual, as we felt it would be too representative of a group, corporation or idea, rather than an individual. We felt it was essential to create a visual language that would position Ivan as a candidate, as a person. He also wanted to run a campaign with integrity, which also benefitted from an understated visual. All roads pointed to creating a logotype which was clear, honest and sophisticated.
We tried various routes, even creating a hand-written version for a more human feel, but we ended up going for a tasteful custom slab serif as the main representation. This was accompanied by a colour scheme with the same understated rationale, as well as a nod to the party he was affiliated with. These elements, together with the aforementioned photography created the visual DNA we followed through with in the campaign and landing pages.
For the web-pages, we followed through with the UX rational and the branding we created above, to come up with the final product. This was the hub for everything Ivan Bartolo, where all information, updates and contact information were stored.
Video & Vlogging
Another core of the campaign was video and more specifically vlogging. We wanted to communicate in an efficient and youthful way – in the past politicians went door to door and held mass meetings, but with the advantages of the internet and social media channels, it made much more sense to bring content to the masses via digital media. We got Ivan to get out of his comfort zone and send out vlogs every day, which he took on like a pro and took things to another level. It was no surprise to see other politicians follow suit and produce similar content.
To do this properly we took Ivan through the paces of what is needed to create professional content. We created guidelines thinking of every angle and every element which makes a good vlog, and after a few trial runs created a content producing pro.
The campaign did great, and Ivan truly made a name for himself. The relationship between Ivan and ANCHOVY. grew strong over just a few months, where we started looking forward to future projects which came out of the campaign such as a local council app. Ivan also became a non-executive director after ANCHOVY. became a PLC in the early summer of 2017.