Jill Stein’s Blog, She’s Running for President Too…
The first impression I get when opening the page for Jill Stein’s blog is that the banner for the page shows a man talking with his hands and two women sitting politely across the table from him. Since Jill Stein is a candidate struggling for recognition, this image is confusing. The picture is tinted green (for the green party) but for the life of me, I can’t tell which of the women is the candidate. The focus is on the green of the green party. However, the man in the picture is “grabbing the attention” with his hand gestures, while the actual candidate is sitting with her hands folded.
This blog has a lot of humanistic appeal. Under the News category, it covers current progressive issues such as Jill Stein being actively involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, complete with a photo of her talking to a Standing Rock Native man. There’s an article about how the Presidential debates are corrupted by big business and monied candidates. The other categories all reiterate the need to introduce her and her running-mate, Ajamu Baraka, to the American people. The Home category goes to the Donation and Volunteer page, which is done in shades of green and the Donate button itself is a demure daffodil yellow color. You may actually sign up for their mailing list without having donated.
The actionable portion of the message lacks clarity and focus. She has links to get involved with Louisiana Flood Relief, the Standing Rock cause, and many other micro goals, but what I want to know is why doesn’t she have tee-shirts and bumper stickers which say something simple, “People, Planet, & Peace. Vote for Jill Stein 2016”. I look under the categories Flyers and Tools, Campus Organizing, and everywhere else on the site. There’s a lot of good press releases and the amount of information is staggering but also what you’d get in your Facebook feed if you’re friends with anyone who goes to Burning Man (we got ‘em, we love ‘em). It’s too tasteful and doesn’t hit you over the head with, “Hey, Vote for me or Satan Wins!”. It asks, “If it’s alright, I’d appreciate it if you would consider me for the position of President. I’m sure you’ll find I’ll do a lovely job.” In any other year, that would be enough, but this year she’s not the only woman running against the orange menace.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Official Blog
On the home-page of this blog, there is a static entry called How Will Hillary Clinton’s College Plan Help You?, which links the audience to an interactive calculator based on whether one already has student debt or are planning for college. It’s focused on people who have student debt (a demographic in their 20’s and up) and people who will have it (a younger demographic but also aiming at their parents, 40’s and up). All the while, in the top right corner of the screen, no matter what category you browse, there is a bright red Donate box. The psychology involved is , “I’m going to save on college, so I can afford to donate a $20.”
Swag is a way to reinforce a brand’s message on those rare moments when we aren’t in front of a media-outlet. This site has it’s own Store category and it has tee-shirts and bumper-stickers, but also its own Homewares section. A $55 cross-stitched pillow exists with “A Woman’s Place is in the White House.” with a little stitched White House with a pink frilly border around it. https://shop.hillaryclinton.com/collections/homeware
The category Issues is possibly the most comprehensively clear portion of the blog. Its banner says “Learn About Hillary’s Vision for America” and each press-release focuses on a different subcategory: Economy and Jobs, Education, Environment, Health, Justice and Equality, and National Security.
Each subject is accompanied by video interviews with people like Warren Buffet, Bernie Sanders, President Obama to grab the attention of the audience and lend confidence in her brand. The actionable message can be summed up in the three word slogan which runs throughout each page in one way or another, “I’m With Her.” Vote, Donate, Volunteer: for who? For her. Even though there’s another woman in the race, Hillary doesn’t have to struggle for recognition. As first-lady, she was already a household name. The happiness being sold is two-fold, the audience voting for the first female President of the United States and voting against Donald Trump. On any page, there may be eight separate articles but only one will address Donald Trump at all. This seems to show that her people have been studying public opinion carefully and testing the less is more strategy.. The blog posts which address him are of a neutral brand b(Trump) is different to brand a (Hillary) voice. She is making it clear that she finds his tactics beneath her while staying on the real message, “Vote for me, Who Else Can Beat Him..”.