Proximity Design & Branding THE FOURSQUARIAN CANDIDATE by Energy BBDO Chicago

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Industry Website
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency Energy BBDO Chicago
Creative Director Jonathan Linder
Art Director Francis Almeda
Released December 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Online Digital Design
Advertiser: PROXIMITY
Date of First Appearance: Nov 1 2010
Entrant Company: ENERGY BBDO, Chicago, USA
Entry URL:
Creative Lead: Kevin Lynch (Energy BBDO)
Creative Director: Jonathan Linder (Energy BBDO)
Senior Copywriter: Nate Gagnon (Energy BBDO)
Art Director: Francis Almeda (Energy BBDO)
Developer: Alina Gendal (Energy BBDO)
Tech Lead: Tim Janczewski (Energy BBDO)
Media placement: Website Launched - Online - November 1, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Local And National Print - September 30, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Local And National Broadcast - September 30, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Online Media - September 30, 2010

Describe the brief from the client
When longtime Chicago mayor Richard Daley decided he wouldn’t run for re-election, it created a wide-open mayoral race for the first time in decades. Obviously, voter behavior had changed radically over the previous 20+ years, with social media playing an increasingly significant role in public elections. The brief was to continue evolving social media’s role and give mayoral candidates in Chicago the ability to showcase their modernity and relevance to younger, more tech-savvy voters.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
Generally speaking, politicians have difficulty connecting with young voters. The objective was to give mayoral candidates an opportunity to appeal to young voters using a social media platform young voters are familiar with – foursquare. To do so, we created the Foursquarian Candidate, where candidates could “become mayor, then become mayor.” That is, they could check into a designated place on foursquare as often as they’d like until the deadline. After that, whomever is the “mayor” of that location on foursquare would become the Foursquarian Candidate for the real-life mayor race, and would win free campaign materials for their campaign.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
The visual look utilized the city of Chicago’s identity to create an “official-ness” to the design. The Foursquarian Candidate relied heavily on generating earned media, and used a website, a designated location on foursquare, and an aggressive PR campaign.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
It received significant coverage from major news media in Chicago and beyond. The number of participating candidates exceeded the program’s goals by 104%. Candidate check-ins also far surpassed expectations, with leading candidates checking in an average of every 3 minutes on the weekend before the program’s deadline. In fact, the Foursquarian Candidate even earned accolades from foursquare’s founder himself.