Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/36135
Title: Party Branding in the 2015 General Election: A Case Study of Online Political Posters
Authors: Campbell, Vincent P.
Lee, Benjamin
First Published: Feb-2016
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Citation: Campbell, VP;Lee, B, Party Branding in the 2015 General Election: A Case Study of Online Political Posters, ed. Lilleker, DG, 'Political Marketing and the 2015 UK General Election', Palgrave, 2016
Abstract: Despite claims that the ‘brand is the key communicative tool of contemporary politics’ (Cosgrove 2012: 121), and ‘constant adjustment of image is why branding is now the permanent campaign’ (Scammell 2014: 82), the application of branding to politics remains a rather contentious exercise (Lloyd 2005). In the context of debates about the nature and strategic function of political brands, this chapter explores how UK political parties presented their brands in the months leading up to the 2015 General Election, concentrating on Online Political Posters (OPPs) as expressions of the core brand campaign messages. OPPs are still images posted openly to parties’ Facebook pages, rather than distributed as targeted online advertising like Youtube videos for instance, OPPs are similar to national billboard posters (used in British elections for well over a century, but currently in decline) and the window and lawn signs put up by party supporters at constituency level. Traditional political posters have been argued to have several functions including: persuasion (Seidman 2008a: 7, Baines et al. 2011); familiarisation and engagement (Lewis & Masshardt 2002: 401); and establishing a campaign’s presence in particular locations, signifying the strength of the campaign with possible mobilisation consequences (Seidman 2008b; Dumitrescu 2011). Like those traditional formats, OPPs provide opportunities for political parties to extend their voter reach, particularly amongst those low engagement and participation voters for whom branding is especially helpful in their typically peripheral processing of political messages (Cacioppo et al. 1986) through the potential for OPPs to be shared by users within their Facebook networks. Moreover, that capacity for users to share content provides parties with opportunities to use existing party supporters online to disseminate party messages for them, a kind of supporter-initiated two-step flow of persuasion and influence (Norris and Curtice 2008). This makes OPPs a potentially a good illustration of the gradual transition from traditional transactional marketing and short term party campaign communication techniques in offline media to more interactive, long term relationship marketing in online environments.
ISBN: 978-1-137-58440-3
Links: https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137584397
http://hdl.handle.net/2381/36135
Embargo on file until: 1-Mar-2019
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Rights: Copyright © 2016, Palgrave Macmillan
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo for 36 months from the date of publication.
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, Dept. of Media and Communication

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