This is electioneering at its best!
You know those job applications that ask you specifically how you have planned, managed and evaluated a digital campaign to meet specific corporate objectives? A social media whizz kid at the Labour party has just aced it, with a clever online tool that is currently doing the rounds on Twitter and Facebook.
Using census data, the widget is able to provide a rough estimate of your “number” on the NHS’ list of babies born in its care since the service’s inception on 5th July 1948 (Happy Belated Birthday NHS!)
OK, so the cynics among us will say this is no ordinary “Save Our NHS” grassroots campaign. With less than a year to the next General Election, it’s clear that Labour plans to spin it’s propaganda wheel off the hinges of the NHS bandwagon and straight into David Cameron. Ironically Labour is technically unable to pledge any more money to the NHS’ £108 billion annual budget, having committed to the Coalition’s deficit reduction plans. Instead, the party says it could spend the existing budget more efficiently.
Apparently the Conservatives tried a similar campaign earlier in 2014 which enabled people to check how much money they would save under the Coalition Government but it wasn’t half as popular.
So why has this one taken off?
What this campaign has achieved is the duplicity of allowing people of a campaigning nature to publicly support a service which many feel emotionally connected to (with our own birth and the births of our children being some of the most significant milestones in our lives) with a social network activity that resembles a sort of game, which is highly shareable because everyone wants to find out their own “number”.
From Labour’s objective list the viral nature of the message spreads one of their key policies – to keep the NHS public – but is also a data-mining activity, collecting direct marketing email addresses for their database and encouraging people to donate to their site before they exit.
Whether you agree or disagree, in terms of social campaigning strategy using creativity and a simple, powerful message, this one has ticked the boxes.