The Green Party is putting out a call to the wordsmiths in the creative community to support the cause by sharing a few words that they'd like to see appear on a Green Party digital billboard.
Green Party communications coordinator Stephen Olsen says creatives can either tweet their ideas at the Green Party account or share them via Facebook. The best ideas will be fed onto some of the Green Party billboards in the coming week.
Given the space limitation on the medium, the ideas will have to be short and snappy, with Olsen recommending a format stack of two to three words per line with a maximum of four lines in total.
Until now, the Greens have been strategically using digital billboards to deliver messaging that is topical and relevant to specific regions. It's a strategy that has been spearheaded by the political party's media agency, MBM.
"We've seen this election has a great opportunity to use this technology," says Olsen. "It's a tool that gives us the ability to be responsive."
What he finds particularly appealing about the medium is that it allows for the creative to be changed remotely whenever the team needs it to be updated. By way of example, he points to a recent instance when he updated a billboard in Auckland while he was sitting on his terrace in Wellington.
"The only communication we had was from the person in Auckland who said 'do it' and then we did it, and then they sent me another text that said 'done'."
He does, however, add that with digital billboards there's an enormous need to be creative, given that you might be sharing space with competitors. Further to this point, he says that he noticed on the billboard outside Westpac stadium in Wellington that NZ First and Top were sharing a rotation with the Greens.
"I was happy to see that ours held up pretty well," he says. "Keeping the message basic is really important."
Another important point for the Greens is to keep the messaging positive, Olsen says.
"Having a sense of humour is something that seems to be missing from this election... We've got lots of points of difference as a party and we want to communicate those without buying into the attack stuff."
So far, Olsen says that most of the creative appearing on the Greens' billboards has come from within the party and from the creative team at Double Denim.
"We've got a pool of volunteer copywriters, chipping in from the side."
Olsen says that the idea to open up the billboards to a broader pool of contributors has come about as part of the Green Party's strategy to include the community in its communications.
This is also evident on the Greens' Instagram page, which is managed by Double Denim and features personal stories from Green supporters.
Hey, I’m Simon (@simonjpierce). I’ll be doing the next #instatakeover here on the Green Party account. I’m from New Plymouth, but I’ve been based overseas for most of my career working as a marine conservation biologist. I’m currently in the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador, from where I’ll be emailing in my vote in for the NZ general election. Swipe to see who's lying next to me unaware of our upcoming election. The rest of you international kiwis can download your paper from www.elections.org.nz, print it, sign it, then photograph or scan it and email it in. Super easy, and it means you can have your say in the future of NZ. You have until 22 September! Tag an overseas mate who needs a reminder. #greensupporter #💚#partyvotegreen . . . . . . #greenteam #decision17 #nzpol #nzpolitics #kiwis #newzealanders #voteforhome #marinebiologist #taranakiboy #taranaki #newplymouth #galapagos #galapagosislands #lovenz #aotearoanz #greenparty #voting #votingpapers #election #electioncampaign #changeisgood #changeiscoming #seal #wildlife #conservation #noplanetB
And with current polling painting a difficult picture for the Greens, Olsen perhaps sums it up best in saying "it's moments like these we need the Greens".