Old School Social Media Lives On!
Long before anyone thought of the Internet, before people did their messaging in 140 characters or less, politics had its own form of social media – campaign buttons.
Short, sweet and to the point, the little pin backed messengers carried pictures, colors, graphics and a brief message that usually led to continued conversation…or perhaps fisticuffs. The buttons and other campaign memorabilia have been around as long as we’ve had presidential elections, initially to commemorate events and then to promote candidates.
Since the 1896 election, with William McKinley winning the nod at that time, the buttons have been mass produced. That means the average person could collect them and some would actually survive to the present.
And sometimes those quick little messages stick in popular culture.
Such is the case with “I like Ike,” a slogan popularized by Republican admirers hoping to draft Dwight Eisenhower as a presidential candidate. He was not the prime candidate and only slipped through on the later ballots.
Sometimes the message is conveyed through humor. A button for Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter from the 1976 presidential election featured a peanut with a big, Carter-like smile and the slogan “The Grin will Win.”
Franklin Roosevelt ran against Wendell Willkie, seeking a third term in 1940. The targeted humor at Willkie was framed on one of his campaign buttons.
“Better a third termer than a third rater,” the button said.
With the rise of radio and then television and then the Internet and social media, candidates no longer rely on buttons to get their messages out. However, they still have a longstanding tradition and notoriety. And they have adapted with the diverse culture, as this 2016 presidential button in Hebrew attests.
Despite high tech advances, the presidential election buttons remain popular — particularly with collectors.
Have you considered unique ways of messaging? Call Blue Sand Group today and let’s discuss it.