We wanted to create a campaign for a promotional products company that could piggyback off the daily torrent of political news. We had also run campaigns exploring the effectiveness of branded content. But could branded content affect voting preferences? To find out we presented 32 logos and 28 slogans to 1,258 registered voters. The timing was a challenge. The Democratic field was in a state of flux for a long time. We wanted to find the right moment when most of the candidates were in the race, knowing that some might drop out and others still might join. We were most nervous about whether the participants would be able to set aside their political biases and focus on the design, not the candidate. We asked people about their political preferences in order to weed out clear bias. We also provided several comment boxes throughout the study allowing participants to provide additional thoughts. And the results were outstanding. The presidential campaign was a great opportunity to do something timely and newsworthy, but also something that would yield meaningful insights. Unlike retail products, where some brands have been around for generations, elections involve a lot of marketing materials being released in a short span of time with the same fundamental goal of impressing voters. Most of the logos were released within a matter of months of each other, leveling one part of the playing field.
A Willing Participant, Inc.