Political campaign: No to Minimum Wage

Fédération des Entreprises Romandes

Enigma Strategy & Branding has made it its mission to endorse the “No” on the occasion of the minimum wage initiative. Thus an innovative policital campaign was created, and it provided the expected results.

Ambition


On May 18, 2014, the Swiss people had to cast their vote in favour or against minimum wage. The Neuchâtel canton had already accepted this initiative, with more than 50% votes casted, and emotionally strong arguments in favor of the initiative. Those campaigning against it were clearly disadvantaged.
In this context, Enigma picked up the challenge that, if implemented, this initiative would be disastrous for those people that it meant to protect. We decided to put a face on some people that would pay the consequences of a minimum wage, and to have them share their stories.

Action


This political campaign was based on two axes:

A viral YouTube video
The video format allows to play with the message’s viral power and to increase the political campaign’s reach in Western Switzerland. The message was clearer, more sophisticated, and still direct.

We chose to use rational and economic arguments, which would have been weakened with traditional political billboards; instead, the video format gave them an important boost. Boring visuals turned into grabbing 3D animations. We focused on the following three arguments:

  • The standardization of wages
  • The intervention of the State
  • Low wages


YouTube enabled the Federation of Enterprises in Western Switzerland (FER) to position itself as a content provider and messenger; a YouTube channel helped create an online community.

Storytelling Posters
Rather than speak on their behalf, we let people speak—people that were directly concerned by the initiative. The photograph at the centre of the poster allowed for a strong identification and empathy that was worth a thousand words. We were thus playing on the same empathy ground as the opposite side, and used the same codes.

Design was crucial: This is a serious topic that can impact thousands of people. We thus chose a very clean design, focusing on black and white portraits that emphasized the seriousness of the situation.
Next to each photograph, a person told their personal story: a young graduate, a farm worker, and a student. Each of them talked about the negative impact on their professional lives should the minimum wage be implemented.

Various Angles
In order to remember a message, people must be exposed to it numerous times. We increased the visibility of these posters all over the city just before voting day. We multiplied contact points with voters and published our ads in the free newspapers 20 Minutes, Tout L’Immobilier, as well as on bus lines. The posters were adapted for various political parties, such as PBD, PLR, or Les Verts Libéraux. The potential exposure to the message was thus greatly increased.

Impact


The YouTube video was seen more than 370,000 times by voting day; those campaigning against minimum wage won with more than 75% of votes. This campaign showed that YouTube is an extraordinary tool to leverage opinion, and carries the power to convince people in Switzerland, even for a political campaign.

Credits

STRATEGY Olivier Perez Kennedy
CAMPAIGN MANAGER Fiona Helle
COPYWRITER Nicolas Buri
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lina Maria Hernandez
VIDEO Julien Eger et David Mathias
SEM & SEO Lou Bielser & Vincent Hsu