Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Concerned Citizens for BC

Concerned Citizens for BC is a group that has been created to go after the NDP and try and stop them winning the next election.   In my opinion the thinking behind the idea of CC4BC is fundamentally flawed and will have little or no impact on the election.

1) The very idea will be a red flag to the NDP and their supporters.   The NDP will be able to use this to get more donations and more volunteer hours, a lot more than all the planned spending by CC4BC.   You can see from Bill Tieleman's post from today how they will use it.

My guess is that CC4BC will help the NDP bring in something in the range of a couple million dollars and an extra thousand campaign volunteers.   It strikes me that the CC4BC campaign will in the end be more of a benefit to the NDP than the Liberals.

2) It assumes that the election is only a two party race.  With the BC Greens and the BC Conservatives running full slates and both parties running some fully funded serious campaigns, there are other choices the public can make than the black and white one CC4BC offers.

CC4BC can not point to any polling or data that would indicate there is any hope in hell of the Liberals winning the election.   Choosing to frame the argument as "You must vote for Clark to stop Dix" is not going to be taken very seriously by anyone and all CC4BC will end up doing is making people consider the alternatives.

3) Their total spending of $1,000,000 is really not very much at all.

On average the candidates in each riding of BC will collectively spend about $130,000 during the one month election campaign - that is a bit more than $11,000,000 province wide.  The four largest political parties will likely spend about $9,000,000 more on the election.  Other than CC4BC, other third party election advertisers are likely to spend close to $3,000,000 on election advertising,   This means there will be about $23,000,000 spent on the election.   $1,000,000 in advertising is not going to make much of an impact with so much other election related advertising out there.

Most advertising is lost in the media landscape these days, very little stands out and you can spend a lot of money for no measurable benefit.   As an example, I am not sure that with $1,000,000 you could even do one mass mailing to every household in BC.  If you did mail to every household, you would be happy if 1-2% actually read the material.   A $1,000,000 mass mailing might actually be read by 27,000 people.   Mass mailings are considered one of the better forms of advertising out there.

They may be talking about spending $1,000,000 but what they really want is earned media and a strong social media presence.  They will have some media coverage now but not nearly as much as John Slater will have.  When we look at their social media side, CC4BC has a Klout of 45 - not very strong at all.

The whole campaign seems an odd act of desperation unless there is some other longer term agenda at play and I have no idea what it might be.  
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