Without a doubt, the ubiquity of the smartphone paired with affordable wireless data in the preceding decade changed the way candidates campaign and voters consume politics worldwide. In the new decade, the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) – consumer devices connected and controlled via the internet – will result in yet another sea change.
Unit sales of connected security cameras, like the Ring doorbell camera, will more than double over a five year period reaching 120 million by 2023. Widespread adoption of this technology means big changes for political canvassing, the most effective voter contact method available to campaigns.
As I wrote in my list of predictions for 2020, connected cameras will probably mean lower response rates at doors as voters avoid answering the door for canvassers but it also means new opportunities for reaching voters who aren’t at home when the canvasser is there.
Just last week, a voter in Iowa shared this video from their front door of a canvasser for the Pete Buttigieg campaign panicking when a child opened the door and told him not to open the door for strangers.
Here are some ways that campaigners can seize the opportunity provided by connected security cameras.
Share a Caught on Camera Moment
Campaigns need to be ready to seize on a caught on camera moment – good or bad – this election year. If it’s a positive or humorous moment, like the example from the Buttigieg campaign last week, have your social community in place to amplify the video. But it’s also possible these cameras could capture some bad behavior by canvassers, like package stealing or arguing with a voter.
Make sure your volunteers know that there’s an increased likelihood they’ll be on camera this year and remind them that they are representatives of your campaign. Comms teams should have a plan in place if they forget.
Another Job for the Campaign Logo
As more parts of campaigns happen online, logos and branding are becoming increasingly important. Now that voters have the ability to “screen” canvassers at their door, it’s important that they be clearly identified by a campaign T-shirt. When designing a logo, campaigners now need to ensure that not only is it readable for uses like bumper stickers and yard signs, but is recognizable on connected security cameras.
Online efforts, both paid and organic, should make sure the campaign’s visual brand is well-known and trusted before a canvasser arrives at a door.
Have a Video Canvassing Script
If a canvasser arrives at a door and doesn’t get a response, but does notice a connected security camera, encourage them to leave a “video mail” just as they would leave a voicemail for a phone call. Something simple like “Hi, my name is [name] and I’m a volunteer for [campaign]. Sorry I missed you but hope you’ll get out and vote on [date]. If you’ve got any questions, text our campaign at [number] or find us online.”
You’ve just gotten yourself a free, 30-60 second video impression to a targeted household.
Try a Humorous Parody Video
Front porch cameras offer a new format for campaigners to parody in a humorous video, like this Mayhem commercial from Allstate:
Canvassing – especially in our connected age – remains the most effective method of voter contact available to campaigners. The widespread adoption of connected security cameras over the next decade means campaigns have to account for this new technology in their door knocking efforts.