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Campaign strategies

Joseph McMahon | Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Every student by now has noticed the plethora of campaign posters canvassing the walls of their dorms, classroom buildings, and dining halls.

Everywhere we go, we’ve been reminded to vote for some generic ticket for class council in yesterday’s election.

Most of the posters are exactly the same. They feature the four candidates in formal attire smiling, arms crossed and standing in front of some school landmark like the Dome or that giant granite ball in CoMo.

As someone who has seen both his parents run for election four times in the past eight years, I know how important it is to make yourself stand out to the voters.

Distinguishing yourself from the other candidates is one of the most important things you can do, and one of the best ways to do this is through effective, unique advertising.

The trend of smiling faces in front of some Notre Dame landmark has to stop. If you want to win, you have to do something that really reaches out to voters and makes them want to vote for you.

One of the major reasons Bob Reish and Grant Schmidt were so successful in their campaign for student body president and vice president was because of their Web site, bobandgrant.com. This was easy for students to remember, and Reish and Schmidt won their election by more than 1,000 votes.

However, most tickets for both junior and sophomore class councils have failed to learn from this example. There is one – the sophomore class council ticket of Zach Reuvers, Steven Ouyang, Melissa Truitt and Nicole Navas.

Through their Bob and Grant inspired Web site, zachandsteve.com, Reuvers and Ouyang have separated themselves from rest of the generic tickets.

However, it is their poster that really helps set them apart. Inspired by the Will Ferrell movie “Anchorman,” the four candidates are set in front of a red background that features the words “News Team 11.”

Ouyang, set to the far left, is wearing a cowboy hat while waving at the voters. Reuvers is in the center, flanked by Truitt and Navas and although he does have his arms crossed, his face conveys the joking-seriousness that Ferrell is best known for.

Steve Carell’s character from the movie, Brick Tamland, is also featured standing in the right corner.

It is this type of poster that will really stick in students’ minds and influence their voting. Besides, having Steve Carell in your poster is way cooler than that granite monstrosity in CoMo.