It is the 17 th of February and you are in a ballot booth ready to register your vote. In the heat of the moment your subconscious dispatches a stream of chaotic images of political posters and advertising spots. They flicker before you, like visions in near death experiences. A blur of candidates wrestling for your attention, grappling to pocket your vote.
That instant filtering in your mind’s eye – especially if you are in the all precious undecided group – is precisely what brand and media consultants have been working on over the last few long months. It is possible that somewhere in that visual stream
you will see a Ioannis Kasoulides close-up standing in front of an immaculate green valley more reminiscent of Microsoft-land than any region of Cyprus ….
Political brand building is the science of shaping the image of political personalities to affect the public’s perception of them. Selling politicians as brands is a challenging task, in particular when long established personalities dominate the political scene. In the past, election campaigns were traditionally dominated by the issue of the Cyprus settlement. Being a member of the European Union and the eurozone, new priorities arise and gain importance in political campaigns.
Nicholas Karides, director of ampersand and newswatch media monitoring – GlobalCom PR Network Partner Cyprus – reflects about the challenges in political brand building arising from new political circumstances and the increasing importance of the media.