The elections in Iran are in full drive, with just a few days left till the Friday poll. Iranian tv is crammed with interviews with the candidates, sound bytes and commercials in regards to the vote. Films are interrupted each couple of minutes by voting reminder message; in the course of intense emotional scenes, bells ring and an animated poll dances throughout the display.
Candidates’ Internet sites tout the politicians’ credentials and attributes, whereas blogs debate who’s genuinely democratic-minded–or, conversely, true to the tenets of the Islamic Revolution.
The presidential marketing campaign in Iran is brief: about one month. There are quite a lot of rumors and discussions earlier than the official begin of the marketing campaign season, however it actually goes into gear as soon as the Supreme Council declares the record of accredited candidates. This yr there are six. (For extra data, see “Who Are the Candidates” on Open Democracy’s Iran blog.)
One of many candidates, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (www.hashemirafsanjani.ir), has finished greater than the others to market his explicit presidential model. On this transient article, I focus on the instruments that his marketing campaign has used to create the Hashemi model.
Guerilla Advertising and marketing
Jay Conrad Levinson is commonly referred to as the daddy of guerilla marketing. He defines it this manner: “It’s a physique of unconventional methods of pursuing standard objectives. It’s a confirmed methodology of attaining earnings with minimal cash.”
Whereas I can not converse for the precise prices of the Rafsanjani marketing campaign, the strategies that the marketing campaign is utilizing are, certainly, unconventional. They’re significantly unconventional for post-revolutionary Iran.
The Rafsanjani marketing campaign has employed Iran’s hip youth as its military of unpaid marketing campaign employees. They wrap themselves in Hashemi stickers,%C2percentA0tape his poster on their backs, have a good time soccer success in his identify, attend performances on the candidate’s Tehran headquarters and take part in skating occasions. They put on Rafsanjani marketing campaign supplies like style equipment.
This military of hip youth could also be politically apathetic largely, however that doesn’t actually matter. The Rafsanjani marketing campaign has grabbed the picture of youth and power for itself. You may say that the Rafsanjani technology and the Pepsi technology are one. In different phrases, it could not matter to Pepsi whether or not the Pepsi technology drinks Pepsi, so long as Pepsi’s gross sales are sturdy; equally, so long as Rafsanjani wins the election, who cares who voted for him.
The Graphic Picture
Rafsanjani is his personal model. Due to his unusual seems to be, he’s, arguably, essentially the most acknowledged cleric on this planet. As with each different candidate in Iran’s presidential election, his picture covers whole partitions.
The marketing campaign places forth a number of pictures of Rafsanjani: the official web site includes a photo album that highlights his revolutionary achievements, whereas the favored photo-sharing web site Flickr displays a very different view of the candidate.
The posters along with his picture are conservative and conventional, whereas the favored Hashemi sticker is absolutely fairly radical. On it, the Iranian flag is decreased to an summary mark. His identify, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, is decreased to Hashemi.
In a rustic the place wives typically name their husbands by formal names like Engineer (Mohandes) or Mister (Agha) and younger ladies are sometimes referred to as Younger Ma’am (Dokhtar Khanum), the usage of a reputation apart from the surname is greater than acquainted: it’s intimate.
With the plastering Hashemi stickers on ankles, throughout foreheads and on motorbike windscreens, the Rafsanjani model has come to imply that it’s providing intimacy and friendship.
Will It Work?
Solely time will inform how actually efficient the Rafsanjani marketing campaign has been. One factor is for sure: Political campaigns in Iran have modified. The Rafsanjani marketing campaign is simply one of many many indicators of that change. (Try the Flickr picture tag Election84 for a way of this visible election.)
The marketing campaign of former police chief Qalibaf, who’s quantity two or three within the operating, additionally targets the youth. Along with his informal and classy garments, stylish glasses and sponsors reminiscent of Efes Zero Alcohol beer, the Qalibaf marketing campaign immediately competes with the Rafsanjani marketing campaign for the hearts of Iran’s youthful inhabitants.
The most important distinction between the 2 advertising kinds is that this: Rafsanjani’s marketing campaign is fueled by the pictures of youngsters and 20-somethings wrapped in Hashemi equipment, whereas Qalibaf’s advertising group has chosen to make the candidate himself the image of youth along with his new fashionable outfits and attractive image.
We’ll Be Watching
It isn’t simply the presidential candidates who’re in search of to model and re-brand themselves–it’s your entire nation of Iran.
Plans are within the works for a tourism marketing campaign that can goal CNN’s worldwide viewers. Payvand News stories that the nation is prepared for overseas vacationers and traders.
Effectively, we’ll be watching.