Putting People at the Center: On the Campaign Trail with Ayanna Pressley

by | Aug 29, 2018

Opalite Media had the opportunity to produce Ayanna Pressley’s recent campaign video, highlighting the disparities of Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District through the lens of the #1 MBTA Bus. Pressley is running a disruptive and potentially history-making race against incumbent Mike Capuano to represent the 7th District in Washington.

Pressley has focused her campaign on elevating the narratives of the people in the district and promoting equity across the starkly contrasting neighborhoods that it encompasses, including Boston and nearby suburbs like Cambridge, Somerville, Milton, and Chelsea. She has built her support from the ground up in partnership with residents of the district, going beyond perfunctory handshakes to having real conversations with people about the issues that matter.

This human-centric approach to campaigning is what has helped her win a seat on Boston’s City Council in 2009 — the first time a woman of color had ever done so. The tone of Pressley’s new campaign video is consistent with the openness and humility that have shaped her political career. Reinforcing the human connections that define her everyday life, Pressley’s new video shows her conversing with a fellow bus passenger, embracing constituents, and testifying at a City Council meeting.

Pressley’s approach seems well suited to a younger and increasingly diverse generation of voters. Transparency and reflexivity have long been attributes that Millennials crave from politicians. As young people have become increasingly disenchanted with monolithic politics, authenticity is now at a premium. Campaign media content, especially in short-form video, presents a unique opportunity to incorporate a human-first approach. While traditional campaign videos have been largely formulaic and homogenous, digital content and social media have removed many of the limitations associated with a 30-second TV spot.

As the voting base expands to a generation that has grown up with the internet at their fingertips, campaign media must adjust accordingly, offering a unique approach to cut through the noise of endless content and distractions. While politicians have been historically slow to react to this digital shift, 2018 appears to represent a distinctive turning point. Campaigns that have created non-traditional media, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s viral campaign video, and MJ Hegar’s video “Doors,” have found great success, enabling these candidates to win primaries and build further momentum and national visibility.

The concept for Pressley’s “#1 Bus” video is anchored by a commitment to authenticity, showcasing the people and places of which she is intimately familiar. The video showcases Pressley as who she is and nothing more: a person who cares deeply for the district and its people, and someone who will work tirelessly to bring their voices to Washington. For candidates in 2018 and beyond, human-centric digital media is likely to be a top priority.

Putting People at the Center: On the Campaign Trail with Ayanna Pressley

by | Aug 29, 2018

Opalite Media had the opportunity to produce Ayanna Pressley’s recent campaign video, highlighting the disparities of Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District through the lens of the #1 MBTA Bus. Pressley is running a disruptive and potentially history-making race against incumbent Mike Capuano to represent the 7th District in Washington.

Pressley has focused her campaign on elevating the narratives of the people in the district and promoting equity across the starkly contrasting neighborhoods that it encompasses, including Boston and nearby suburbs like Cambridge, Somerville, Milton, and Chelsea. She has built her support from the ground up in partnership with residents of the district, going beyond perfunctory handshakes to having real conversations with people about the issues that matter.

This human-centric approach to campaigning is what has helped her win a seat on Boston’s City Council in 2009 — the first time a woman of color had ever done so. The tone of Pressley’s new campaign video is consistent with the openness and humility that have shaped her political career. Reinforcing the human connections that define her everyday life, Pressley’s new video shows her conversing with a fellow bus passenger, embracing constituents, and testifying at a City Council meeting.

Pressley’s approach seems well suited to a younger and increasingly diverse generation of voters. Transparency and reflexivity have long been attributes that Millennials crave from politicians. As young people have become increasingly disenchanted with monolithic politics, authenticity is now at a premium. Campaign media content, especially in short-form video, presents a unique opportunity to incorporate a human-first approach. While traditional campaign videos have been largely formulaic and homogenous, digital content and social media have removed many of the limitations associated with a 30-second TV spot.

As the voting base expands to a generation that has grown up with the internet at their fingertips, campaign media must adjust accordingly, offering a unique approach to cut through the noise of endless content and distractions. While politicians have been historically slow to react to this digital shift, 2018 appears to represent a distinctive turning point. Campaigns that have created non-traditional media, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s viral campaign video, and MJ Hegar’s video “Doors,” have found great success, enabling these candidates to win primaries and build further momentum and national visibility.

The concept for Pressley’s “#1 Bus” video is anchored by a commitment to authenticity, showcasing the people and places of which she is intimately familiar. The video showcases Pressley as who she is and nothing more: a person who cares deeply for the district and its people, and someone who will work tirelessly to bring their voices to Washington. For candidates in 2018 and beyond, human-centric digital media is likely to be a top priority.