Rize Up: politics and branding

By Robert Brown

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Graphic design Web design / UX Opinion

Some people are made to feel uneasy about the term "political branding". In actual fact, however, politics and branding should (and do) go together. If you look at many expert definitions of branding, they will tell you it is meant to reflect a human truth, show a collective of characteristics and stand as an identity to express who you are.

Whether we know it or not, it is usually the first impression that we are given of something or someone, and has the ability to seal, alter and sever established relationships. So with millions of pounds spent trying to engage the UK in political matters every year, why is it that these campaigns are so often formulaic and ultimately, forgettable?

This time last year our Director Lucy wrote about exactly that in ‘Branding and the EU Referendum’. In it she talked about the fact that neither the ‘Remain’ nor ‘Vote Leave’ team had a clear branding campaign, demonstrated through inconsistent logos and misleading marketing messages. The ‘Remain’ logo looked like it belonged on the t-shirt of a London tourist shop and had one hundred straplines, whilst ‘Vote Leave’ had a solid call to action yet no indicatory strapline.

She went on to list some brand techniques and processes that could have been used in order to ensure good brand communications. Some of these were as follows (all of which revolve around having a proper understanding of your target audience):

- A memorable name
- A unique colour palette
- Developing clear, consistent and powerful marketing messages
- Using intelligent graphic imagery, illustration or photography to help communicate your messages

An image of the Rize Up logo

So with the recent snap election drawing nearer, we were excited to find that one political campaign in particular had taken all of these techniques and processes into consideration. Carried out by filmmaker Josh Cole, CALM founder Jane Powell and design team Studio Output, Rize Up has been created to get young “disillusioned” people to vote. Speaking in an interview, Cole stated that current political campaigns are “a bit vanilla and not authentic”, failing to reach people “in their own language” and therefore not capturing the attention of the people that need to hear about it most. So how did they change this? The party neutral campaign roze up through none other than a clear branding campaign.

At JUMP, we believe that a clear branding campaign needs to first and foremost reflect what you are about, which is something Rize Up do from the offset. The vibrant and energetic colour scheme demonstrates the youthfulness of both themselves and the people they represent; they are for the new generation of people. The logo typeface sets the tone of their campaign, demanding to be heard alongside the symbolic icon, raising its fist in fury and calling for action at last. It features photos of modern day heroes, who further signify the outspoken attitude that is being actively encouraged in this day and age. Its language is unintimidated and anti-conformist, refusing to bow down to the condescension associated with the usual political spiels: 

The typeface used for the Rize Up campaign

Lastly, and this is extremely important – Rize Up uses a platform that is directly suited to targeting the audience that it needs to reach. Its campaign is digital-led, using social media clichés and providing links to the social accounts that so many of us spend our time on today. It has gained support and partnership from a collective of influencers from the music, media and entertainment scene, with backing from the likes of Rudamental, Tinie Tempah, Professor Green and Big Narstie.

This is a great example of a branding campaign that takes the time to carefully consider what they stand for, reaching out in a relevant way that resonates with its audience. Instead of neglecting those that are disenchanted and disengaged about the current state of politics, they work to bring light to the situation in a new and uplifting way. Watch out for the campaign that is running right up until the day of the elections, which aims to get five million non-voters to vote because: "together, when we rize up, we'll be heard".

An infographic showing that 15.7 million currently don't vote

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