Brand Edge Episode 8: Who the F#@K Wants an Election?

Yes, we’re having an election that you might think only the Liberals want. (More on that later)

Here’s my take …

From a branding perspective, elections are the epitome of brand community building.

You’ve got to keep the base and maybe attract a transient group of somewhat like-minded folks from another party in order to dominate the market and, in the case of politics, claim ownership of the agenda.

What’s so odd about Canadian and some European political realities is that even when a party gets a majority of seats in the house, they still operate with a minority of the population’s support. Do the math. A party can win a majority of seats (most of the time, Mr. Sheer) with as little as 38% of the vote. But when only 60% of eligible voters cast ballots, the sad reality is that the governing party rules with a mandate of only 23% of the population. Not exactly representation by population. (Thanks for not fixing that, Justin!)

The other stark reality is the convergence of brand messaging. Our politics have not become quite as toxic as they are in the USA, but they’re getting there. Still, the major parties sound eerily similar on many items. Subtly and doublespeak are endemic in politics, which is particularly true when every party is trying to grab votes from the soft and undecided middle ground.

All to say that brand community building is at work everywhere in our society. Whether you’re running a business or running an election, the same axiom applies. Build the community — build the business … or political mandate.

Now, about who wanted the election. It’s easy to blame the Liberals for calling this election. But keep in mind — the Tories and NDP have been raising money for years, knowing this was coming. And they’re just as eager for it as anyone because they have sizable communities that our bound to their own brands.

So hold your nose and make your choice at the ballot box.

Your community needs you!


Listen to the full episode of the Brand Edge Podcast below.




Wayne S. Roberts

The Globe and Mail calls Wayne S. Roberts "an ad industry provocateur." Maybe its because he's never seen the point of playing by the ad game rules that place awards above results, while offering spec work instead of real value to win accounts. Throughout his career, Wayne has maintained a defiantly independent streak characterized by his insistence that agencies must be honest, direct and passionately invested in their clients' success. His pioneering work in espousing the brand community perspective has been a touchstone of his belief that branding is more than just logos, websites and ad campaigns; it is the fundamental way human beings connect with each other to create communities and launch movements that have changed our world.

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