On March 13, Manufactura was invited to become a part of the team that launched the Voronezh mayoral pre-election campaign of Konstantin Ashifin, a member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). According to the pessimistic scenario, the total number of visitors to our Internet projects is
and by the optimistic estimations another «zero» should be added to this number.
Our sub-task is to make another step in the CPRF rebranding. It is important to show that the today’s communist party is not a party of old people dreaming of soviet times but of modern people who see the strength of communism, move forward steadily, understand mistakes of the past and are ready to discuss urgent issues.
There are about 519 790 Internet users over the age of 18. 211 440 of them use the Internet every day. It is very difficult to attract many visitors using standard means including SEO, contextual or media advertising. In addition, the campaign was deployed in the summer when the online activity is usually declining. Therefore, we offer solutions using the virus.
The headquarter set a task to reach wider audience of voters. The target audience of online projects is young people and intellectuals.
However, we understand that:
- we can attract visitors by something unusual that is beyond expected stereotypes of the Russian political world;
- it is very difficult to make the virus efficient without mark-ups so we had to implement various ideas to make some of them successful.
We decided to start our campaign by attracting the attention of Voronezh people to problems of the city. This idea was founded on the general tendency to focus on problems existing in the city instead of the candidate. We created a project named “City Designer” which allowed everyone to choose 12 city infrastructure facilities among 60 and share them with friends in social networks. 12 331 visitors, 1 315 cities created, over 47 000 persons reached.
mer-voronezha.ru — is the landing page of the advertising campaign. Many people immediately named the project “hipster’s”. We did not intent to attach such labels. We always aim for the quality and achieve it by accumulating experience, by learning, researching and experimenting. We draw conclusions too. As part of this project we tried to create a resource that would meet all requirements of the modern Internet and solve tasks of the campaign. This determined the structure and style of the project. It was a right thing to do.
Issues for discussion relating to the candidate’s program were added to the web-site every week. This not only attracted new visitors but also encouraged them to re-visit the website over and over again. During the campaign we posted 16 articles that covered a wide range of the city’s topical issues.
The modern approach to the party’s values became one of the factors that affected the virus nature of the project and served as a matter for discussion on the CPRF rebranding.
The approach that we chose turned the web-site of Konstantin Ashifin into one of the viruses of the campaign. During the first two days, 28 582 persons from all over Russia visited the web-site, providing the federal coverage of more than 200 000 persons by their likes, messages and posts.
After the launch of the website we received several requests from mayoral candidates from other cities, including Moscow, asking to launch similar campaigns.
This cover became a symbol of our advertising campaign and reached many people. It was reposted, accused of violating Afisha’s rights and printed on T-shirts.
10 percent of 28 582 visitors during the first two days were Voronezh residents. This is not the first time that we use such an approach to promote regional projects - we create a project that is interesting on the federal level and attract the attention of people in the target region. These are the results of only two days. Our next step is to attract the attention to mer-voronezha.ru with virus side-projects reaching more Voronezh residents.
The first side-project is City Budget. It is an interactive way “to cut” the city money and to understand which problems Voronezh faces in the context of limited budget.
We renewed Konstantin Ashifin’s wardrobe and organized a photo shoot for the campaign. You can read honest blog post of the stylist that worked on the project.
All these projects were supported by the advertising campaign in social networks, work with bloggers and opinion leaders. To make social networks contribute to breaking stereotypes about candidates, we created the appropriate content.
In parallel with all activities, the contextual advertising in Yandex provided its own stream of visitors.
Mer-voronezha.ru video channel on YouTube became one of the most successful side projects of the campaign. We produced the filming of videos for TV and the Internet. Various audiences – various videos.
For the Internet.
We have been often asked whether or not it is ethical to use our knowledge and experience to promote political projects. Our answer is here.
The subject of positive changes in the city is very close to Manufactura. We think of ways to change the city we live in. From 2011, the team of our city project Downtown.ru has been not only covered but also actively participated in the creation of the positive image of Voronezh. The project drew attention to the city both at the hyper local and federal levels.
During meetings with the headquarter we found out that they didn’t want to place the candidate in the centre of the campaign, but focused on the city improvement and development towards the best Russian and European cities. Our cooperation could favour positive changes in the city. And we hope it really did.
We did not use our social capital accumulated by Downtown.ru project and told of Konstantin Ashifin along with other candidates leaving mass media as external observers of city events during the election.
"This is not about “black-and-white” and “bad or good” but about new, more clear and perhaps more ”natural” political technologies that we know, among other things, from House of Cards TV series."
"Voronezh mayoral election became well-known after the link spread in social networks to the election web-site of one of the communist candidates, City Duma deputy Konstantin Ashifin."
"Within just a few days after the launch of the pre-election campaign his web-site became “virus."
unique visitors to the website and websites of special projects in Voronezh. This is 5.3 percent of the total city population having access to the Internet. Total number visits to the website and websites of special projects is 74 005. The average time on the website is 2 minutes.
pessimistic estimations of the reach of activities in the Internet. What are the optimistic estimations? Add another “zero” to this number.
The average time on the website is 2 minutes.
persons voted for Konstantin Ashifin that is 18.37 percent of all voters. The voter turnout was 22 percent or 178 000 persons. Unfortunately, we can’t say how many of them put a tick thanks to our projects.
To manage the results we used information of Google Analytics, statistics of VKontakte and YouTube, Yandex search history, information of the Public Opinion Foundation, the nationwide population census and the government.
This is the first project that our company managed using the kanban methods. This experiment broke our hypothesis that kanban cannot be used to manage creating processes and became the basis for reforms of the management system of Manufactura’s projects.