With newspapers vanishing and, especially, younger people reading less while still being more politically engaged, what will replace the political cartoon for conveying (or mocking) an idea as these trends continue?
The immediate answer could be the meme. We see a lot of that already, but it’s still a form of communication preferred by older voters rather than 20-somethings. Is there anything else on the horizon? Well, some folks seem to think emojis are the next wave of political pictorial communication.
Case in point: the series of Hillary Clinton emojis that just landed in the Apple store last week. There are several to choose from, and most have a specific political message, either a quote from a Hill supporter or a way to turn a pejorative into a positive. For example, the “Woman Card” phrase made famous by Donald Trump. Yep, it’s an emoji now too.
Goal of Emojis
The naked goal of these emojis is to woo the Berners from the clutches of NeverHillary into the Clinton camp. Easier said than done, but at least they might get their attention.
And these emojis are definitely not just for fun. Donations, accessed through the keyboard, give users the option of accessing a “special” Clinton emoji just for supporters. But will those hitting “send” be willing to send money? That remains to be seen.
One thing that is certain, the old ways of campaigning and grassroots fundraising are all but over. Online donations, crowdfunding, and app-based connection points are here, and they are already ushering in the next wave of political tech connection tools.
Innovative or Too Forward Thinking?
Some may be put off because this feels too “new,” but consider, presidential campaigns only come around every four years, which can be an eternity in the evolution of tech. Think about how many things are in common use now that barely registered at the beginning of Obama’s first term in office.
Remember the infamous “post mortem” the GOP did on why they got hammered so bad by Obama? Remember the verdict: they lost because they were way behind on the digital bell curve. Emojis very well could be part of the next phase in political marketing. But someone is already working on how to leverage newer technology. Because come 2020, what’s new today will already be old news.
David Milberg is a New York financial analyst.