We all know the importance of first impressions. Whether it’s meeting your boss for the first time or being introduced to your significant others’ family – a good first impression is critical. The same holds true for political parties and candidates, especially during an election campaign. With the recently called provincial election in Ontario, political parties released their first campaign videos introducing both their party and leader – their first impression on voters.
We took a look at some of the first promotional videos released by political parties in the Ontario election and are shedding some light on the different strategies employed.
Progressive Conservatives (PCs)
Get It Done. These are the words consistently displayed throughout the video released by the PCs. When watching the video, you can’t help but think of a preseason hype video for your favourite sports team. The video is upbeat, displaying eye-catching images, and complemented by an up-tempo song. Overall, the video has a positive tone to it. Candidates, specifically incumbent candidates, are more likely to use positive emotions such as enthusiasm and pride as appeals for support, often favouring a strategy called issue-based advertising. These ads allow incumbents to showcase to voters how their past accomplishments demonstrate their governing ability, how they have advanced issues that matter to voters, and how these successes can be built upon with re-election.
Research from Abacus Data shows that the PCs are currently well ahead in the polls, and Doug Ford’s likeability is higher than the other two leaders. Within that context, positive messaging should work, and if the PCs continue to adhere to a positive message that instills a sense of pride or enthusiasm in voters, they should be able to ‘get it done’.