Blurring the Presidential Lines
Ever been absolutely hooked on a television show and wished that the characters were real? While majority of the shows on our screens are fiction (with the exception of reality television), HBO’s award-winning VEEP has been using this desire for reality to inspire its recent marketing strategy.
VEEP has been acclaimed as one of the best shows on television at the moment. It has won Emmy Awards, AFI Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards, has just charged through a third season to great acclaim and has been renewed for a fourth season next year.
Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld, The New Adventures of Old Christine) as Selina Meyer, the Vice President of the United States, the show is set behind the scenes of the Vice President’s office as she tries to win over voters, confer with dignitaries and powerful businesses while portraying a front of reliability and confidence to assure even the most concerned voter. It, of course, contains more than its fair share of gaffes, broken promises and behind the scenes antics to make anybody lose confidence in their parliamentary system – in a good way!
But in addition to the brilliance on the screen, it is the marketing strategies which are the true stars blurring the lines between truth and fiction.
Concentrating on a grassroots strategy to individually engage audience members, the above poster was distributed across social media. Calling the number takes fans through to a recording of the questionably hopeless communications manager, Mike McClintock, explaining why Selina Meyer deserves your support in her run for the most powerful seat in the world, President of the United States. McClintock then encourages callers to text VEEP to 444-999 to truly show their support and receive the latest updates from the campaign trail.
Visit https://isupportselina.com/ to check out the voice recordings.
What follows is a series of personal text messages showing off the moments of incompetence integral to the television series:
“Hello, and thanks for texting the Office of Vice President, Selina Meyer! I confirm this is my number & I consent to receive future automated phone calls & texts from Selina Meyer & Mike McClintock.”
“Welcome to the campaign! Selina Meyer is committed to helping the average hoes in America achieve their dreams!”
“Damn autocorrect: average *JOES. Anyway, what’s your name?”
“Nice to have you on board the SS Meyer, (Name)! Quick poll: Are you confident with Selina’s ability to lead? Answer with:
1 = Who?
2 = Maybe
3 = Yes”
“Hey, do you have one of those Twitter usernames?”
“Got it. One last thing, I need to make sure you are a human so just text me DAN SUCKS”
After working your way through this interactive text messages, each audience member is then taken to a site with a personalised Selina would get Mey-er Vote picture to share over social media. This picture features an image of the individual doing the texting and details for the upcoming television appearance (which happens to coincide with the series premiere).
Taking advantage of fans’ desire for certain television shows to be real, this series has captured the essence of the characters to bring them to life in the real world while also providing an opportunity for personalised swag from the brand. And there is nothing like personalised swag to win over social media . . . and that’s exactly what this campaign did!