PR team: Propeller
Timescale: April-May 2010
Budget: Within monthly retainer of £5K
Advertising agency Albion created the 'Slapometer' - a site where people could deliver a virtual 'slap' to the three party leaders in the run-up to the general election.
- To raise Albion's profile as an innovative, digital-led agency
- To show Albion is politically engaged.
Strategy and plan
In the weeks before the campaign, Propeller developed relationships with key online political writers including Guido Fawkes and Will Heaven at The Telegraph.
When the site went live, Propeller worked with the Albion social media team to get immediate comments on Twitter, news sites and blogs. Updates were posted on Twitter. The team also kept the media updated with the slap rates during the live TV debates. The Slapometer proved so popular in the minutes before the first debate, with 800 people a second logging on, that the server crashed in a few minutes.
Measurement and evaluation
The campaign generated more than 30 pieces of coverage including on BBC News and The Daily Politics, the FT and the Daily Star. International reports included The Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel and Le Post.
In the first 24 hours there were 4.3 million slaps on Slapometer. The site received 168,169 unique users during the final live TV leaders' debate. Albion has received three enquiries from other countries asking for similar sites.
Of the three leaders, Gordon Brown received the most slaps - 51,860,351 - although David Cameron attracted the most during the TV debates.
Martin Loat, Managing director, Propeller
Digitally led creative agency Albion London wanted to showcase its ability to develop digital platforms that capture the mood of the moment. The televised UK general election debates created an opportunity to catch attention with something innovative. Albion developed something that was a topical digital twist on popular antipathy to politicians. The Slapometer was born. This website gave the public an opportunity to deliver a virtual 'slap' to Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg ... in real-time, while they were arguing live on TV.
Before the election campaign Propeller spoke to political media contacts including Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) and Will Heaven at The Telegraph so we were ready when the election was called. Working with Albion's social media team, we focused on Twitter with regular updates on which leader was winning (or losing) the online slapping vote. The result was 4.3 million 'slaps' in the first 24 hours.
This provided the traction needed to put Slapometer on the general news agenda.
Momentum was maintained with updates on viewers' reactions to each question during the debates being published in real time. Channel 4, ITN, Sky News, The Telegraph, the FT, and international media including the Wall Street Journal, covered the results. Influential tweeters like the BBC's Rory Cellan Jones also referred to Slapometer.
In total more than 90 million slaps were delivered and Albion has licensed the Slapometer concept internationally.