Council Candidates trying to be hip, failing fast

Rob Thomas is running for seat on the Council for Auckland Central. He has some nice friendly branding, big billboards and gets out networking (I have never met him though).

Last night his new campaign billboard made TV news

My campaign for council made it onto TV3's Nightline - watch the full story...

The story was about Rob's billboard in Ponsonby containing a Bluetooth unit that could send passersby a campaign message if they had bluetooth activated on their mobile device.

The message sounded so boring why anyone would want to do that is beyond me, something like "Vote for me, I'm Rob Thomas"

No one I know walks around with bluetooth on just in case a City Council Candidate's billboard wants to talk to them, it drains our battery for one thing. 

What made me laugh more than anything was the assumption that people in Ponsonby were tech savvy and that Bluetooth might be a good way to connect to them. Are you freakin kidding me? How about using a Tweet or chatting on Facebook or using Foursquare, Ponsonby hipsters are more likely to be there than worried about working out what bluetooth is and how to turn it on just to get your message.


What should have been in that news slot is a Council Candidate for the Rodney District Michael Goudie. Rather than using old school, one way communications gimmicks like bluetooth Michael is using todays technology like Twitter and Facebook to full effect.

I received in the mail a few days ago a postcard flier from Rob Thomas, there was no mention of his Twitter or Facebook page, only his website. Disappointing really. Shy? Seems so.

Michael Goudie has boldly gone where no other Council Candidate in Auckland (That I have seen) is going. He is actively using and integrating his use of Twitter and Facebook with all his traditional branding and marketing. He's making candid, rough edge videos sharing himself, allowing people to get to know him and see his personality. 

See: Standing out in City Council Elections with Social Media for my previous post about Michael

The old saying of "fish where the fish are" comes to mind. Rob Thomas could have encouraged people to tweet him, ask a question via twitter with a #tag, at least it would have encouraged people to connect with him using technology that people actually use these days. A creative social media campaign probably would have cost less and been more useful than a tacky bluetooth gimmik with a cheesy message at the end

Cringe Factor Score = Embarrassing