A new way to talk about political issues – humour

CLIENT

YEAR

SCOPE

Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK)

2022-2023

Strategic planning
Communications and media relations
Social media and content production


Vaalistaja was a formula-breaking election campaign that unpacked political jargon into plain finnish and gave SAK a new way to talk about important issues in a way that got attention. Political satire and humour were used to help get the SAK movement’s election themes and messages across to the right target audience on all major social media channels.

Parliamentary elections are held to choose Finland’s policy for the next four years. The SDP had led the country for four years and, as always in politics, it is often difficult for a prime minister’s party to get a second term.

The political debate had been dominated in the previous years by the koruna and then by security policy and NATO. The SAK was worried about whether labour issues would enter the Vaalistaja debate at all and whether the next government would have enough pro-labour MPs.

Would anyone defend the interests of workers if working life did not come up at all in elections and people could not find, let alone vote for, candidates who would defend their interests?

The SAK gave us the task to give visibility and weight to the themes of the SAK trade unions in the run-up to the 2023 parliamentary elections. The campaign had to activate not only those committed to the unions, but also to find new voters and get them interested in the pro-working life candidates that SAK had put together in its own election gallery.

The target group included members of SAK trade unions (around 860 000 people), and potential members (100 000). Within the target group, the aim was to reach out in particular to those who are sleepy, wavering in their views or frustrated by the opacity of the political debate. The campaign had to reach and appeal in particular to women aged 18-35.

When we dug into the research data, we found that people are interested in the issues, but they are talked about in such a difficult way that they are not understood. As the target group’s media consumption was clearly dominated by social media, we decided to do something quite different from the traditional media advertising and media communication-based election campaign.

Vaalistaja- This is worth talking about! concept decoded political and trade union jargon into plain Finnish and dug out the issues behind the jargon. In practice, Vaalistaja was a massive social media campaign, with content going to Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, the website and the newsletter. We opened dedicated channels for the Vaalistaja. We sought additional revenue from outdoor and digital advertising.

The content was formatted as short videos, memes, witty statements and in-depth articles for the different channels. The jewel in the crown was the Vaalistaja Weekly Review video published on Fridays, which brought together the week’s most important topics in one package.

Because humour is a difficult genre, we brought in a team of political satire professionals. Eeva Vekki and Johannes Mollberg scripted the video content and memes and acted as the faces of the campaign. Vaalistaja-content, made through humour and political satire, attracted attention and got to the difficult issues of the elections in a human way. The campaigns way of talking became the communication model for the whole campaign, both for the SAK and for its affiliates and activists.

We reached the desired target group repeatedly throughout the campaign. From the public, SAK affiliates and their members, the Vaalistaja’s tone and approach to the issues received overwhelmingly positive feedback and plenty of shouting matches.

Most importantly, no fewer than 54 pro-working life candidates on the SAK election ballot were elected to Parliament and the Vaalistaja helped, for example, to elevate the kiky debate to a national topic.

Highlights

  1. FB and IG total 15 million views
  2. FB and IG reach 2.3 million, average frequency 6.5
  3. Youtube 700 000 video views
  4. Tiktok 254 000 video views
  5. 18 000 likes and 845 comments on TikTok
  6. 36 000 visitors to the campaign page
  7. 54 candidates in the SAK election gallery were elected to Parliament
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