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Published On: Wed, Jul 6th, 2016

Why Are Political Yard Signs Still So Popular In the Internet Age?

In an election year, showing your support for your party, presidential candidate, or other politician of choice is something you may feel very strongly about doing. Even during off years, when local elections are taking place, you may want to identify as being behind a specific person or idea. These days, there are an astounding number of ways you can voice your opinion or show support for something, from Tweeting about it, to sharing things on Facebook, or even having your own blog where you write about your views.

 

  • More Traditional Options

 

photo Brandon Jones

photo Brandon Jones

However, while the internet age has made people far more vocal about their political views, and given far more ways to express political support or try to persuade undecided voters to go in a certain direction, more traditional methods of expressing support or promoting candidates such as yard signs and bumper stickers are still hugely popular. So, why is this? And why should any would-be politician make finding a good campaign sign maker a big part of their strategy?

 

  • The Older Generations Prefer ‘Real World’ Expressions of Support

 

While the best way to reach out to Millennials is certainly via the media they use, baby boomers and older generations don’t tend to put as much weight on what they see online as what they see in the physical world. While younger people may gauge the popularity of an idea or candidate by the response on Twitter, older people look for things like yard signs and stickers to identify who appears to be ‘winning’ public opinion. Naturally, this also means that when they feel strongly about something they are more likely to put a sign or flag up, rather than change their Facebook profile picture. Another point to remember is that most homeowners who have somewhere to put a yard sign actually fit into this demographic.

The power of the older vote was shown very recently in the referendum in the UK on whether to leave the EU – while the younger vote was strongly in favor of remaining with 75% of those polled in the 18-25 age group choosing this option, older people were in favor of leaving – the choice which ultimately won the referendum.

 

  • Brand Awareness

 

Have you ever wondered why brands you already know about, like Coca-Cola, spend so much on advertising? It is because they know the value of keeping a strong brand identity in the minds of consumers. Candidates can also benefit from this. They say you need to see a brand about seven times to remember it, and by having signs around your neighborhood, a candidate can help you remember their personal brand, too.

Even more compelling, research has been done that shows campaign signs do more than just impact name recognition, they impact candidate affinity. While name recognition and personal branding is the key focus of political signs, a recent university control test determined that registered voters actually had positive feelings towards candidates based on nothing more than exposure to campaign yard signs. This effect may be intensified if the signs are associated with neighbors and businesses that the registered voter likes.

These are just some of the reasons campaign signs are still popular, and effective. However you want to vote in the upcoming election, do you plan to broadcast your support on your property as well as online? Let us know in the comments.

Guest Author: Carol Trehearn

Signs at the Florida voting location, nearly absent of Presidential campaign signs  photo Brandon Jones

Signs at the Florida voting location, nearly absent of Presidential campaign signs photo Brandon Jones

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