A few weeks ago my middle daughter (Holly) decided she wanted to run for student body president of her school for next year.
She was nervous and didn’t “want to stand out” much.
Ummm… how’s that going to win an election?
So after pestering her for over a week she finally let me *help* her with her campaign. Yeah, baby!
I immediately set out building a buzz campaign for her. Easy pickings since I was targeting grade schoolers 😉
We immediately ran into roadblocks when her school nixed most of our original ideas. Here’s what stuck…
She was very nervous about her campaign speech. These days they record them to video first, then broadcast them over closed-circuit TV to the classrooms. She’d never done anything like that and was concerned about getting it “right”… which is apparently code for doing it exactly like her 4 competitors.
After *much* coaxing and coercing I finally got her to do something the students would be talking about for awhile. (By the way, in case you can’t tell, I was *waaaay* too into her election… I would take it as a personal affront if she lost).
She did an American Idol parody for her election speech. A little nervous… but she nailed it. That was 2 weeks ago and the kids at school are *still* quoting her from it. Success.
The week of the election I decided to build the buzz-factor a bit. Every Friday I go to lunch with one of my daughters. Election week I moved it Monday and showed up with a surprise that immediately got the social network going…
Apparently anytime your dad tattoos a campaign ad on his bald head and shows up for lunch it’s an immediate topic of conversation and “walk by” viewings in the cafeteria.
Here’s the cool thing… the tattoos were barely readable from a distance (I’d do them different next time), and it didn’t even matter. The word-of-mouth was so powerful that before lunch was over everyone knew what they said.
Throw in the t-shirts for Holly and her friends for each day election week and you have a pretty good buzz campaign. (Of course, it helps tremendously that Holly has the popularity and personality to even be in the discussion to begin with).
Result: Holly’s the new President-Elect of her school for the 2009-10 school year. That’s hot!
Even better… I got to talk about marketing and persuasion with all three of my girls. That’s hotter! I don’t get good opportunities to do that very often.
Plus, as an added benefit, I got to crush little fifth-graders along the way 😉 It’s just like competing against stupid search marketers on the content network! Woohoo!