“Teeny-Boppers” Take Over the World!


The election of 2008 will never be forgotten.  And in Grafton County, New Hampshire, that day will be remembered as the day campaigning changed forever.

Vanessa Sievers, a twenty year-old, Dartmouth college student from Montana won the county treasurer position against incumbent Carol Elliott, which was a major upset.  How’d she do that? Easily.

Ms. Sievers used the power of social marketing to campaign, marketing herself to her own generation – who were already headed to the polls in record numbers to cast their vote for the 44th US President. She placed an ad on Facebook for $51 targeting students at Plymouth State and Dartmouth Colleges.  This gave her the 500-vote lead over Ms. Elliot.

Unfortunately, Ms. Elliot chose to take the low road of name calling and coming off as a sore loser. From calling college students not “real people” to calling Ms. Sievers a “teeny-bopper”, you can read all about it here and here. And even the big dogs wrote about it here.

Use of social marketing was key in the national races, but it was not used as prominently in the local races. This is one stone that was left unturned by most local candidates, which is too bad as the cost of a viral marketing campaign on a small scale can cost a candidate little to no money and can be extremely targeted.

I looked back at my state elections.  Vermont being a small state, I figured it would be relatively easy to track what had been done.  All of our candidates for governor had Facebook fan pages.

And that was about it.


If every vote counts and most of Gen Y is not reading the paper (which is a shame – Just ask Andy Rooney!), wouldn’t it make sense to use social media and marketing tools to target these voters? They are/were going to the polls anyway.

Hopefully those seeking office on a local level all the way up to a national office will do a better job of marketing themselves and where they stand on issues so that they can get their messages across to all voters. And if you are one of those candidates and you need a few tips – give my office a call… we’d be happy to walk you through a few simple tips or let you know when we are holding our next seminar (shameless plug, I know.).



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One Response to ““Teeny-Boppers” Take Over the World!”

  1. Sandra Says:

    I’ve heard that people have no time to read past the first 2 sentences anymore. We have also become a nation of “reality tv”, Facebook, Myspace…. People’s lives are exposed now and it’s human nature to want to take a peek.

    Was she the best candidate? Maybe. She’s showing that she’s using the tools to get ahead. If you want to win votes, you have to be where the voters are, you have to relate to them (in this case the college students).

    When I met you, you were so young, but there was something about you that was different from the other 21 year olds. You thought ahead, you are smart. Look at you now!.

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