Around this time last year New York City was bubbling with anticipation as democrats began declaring their candidacy for mayor. As a former resident and forever-fan of NYC I was thrilled when The Strategy Division came to me with their client -a relatively unknown bureaucrat out of NYC's sanitation division with a reputation for problem solving and crises management: Kathryn Garcia.
Kathryn came into the running as an unknown and the initial approach with print material was to introduce her to the public. We started with a simple lit piece - the size of a rack card, it could easily be slipped into envelopes or handed to people while canvassing. The camera loves Kathryn and I had a stellar selection of professional photos from which to choose. The one we ultimately used emits strength and competency. The piece flew out the doors and into hands and was continually reincarnated as the campaign grew and endorsements were earned. When the NY Times and the Daily News came forwarded with their support we made the most of it - emblazoning their quotes everywhere. Pictured below are five different print runs over the course of the campaign.
Incidentally, the original logo - which had already been created by the time I was invited to the team - was hard to read in many applications. The pieces above show a slight morphing of the logo to which I added a stroke in later pieces, which helped solve the issue.
The lit piece did so well we opted to resize it for the digital campaign.
The hand-outs and digital push were balanced with a robust print mail effort. No less than 20 mailers were designed and sent out in three months leading up to the primary election. Most pieces were flats - 8.5x11 - essentially large postcards. As noted, endorsements were an important part of legitimizing Garcia as a strong mayoral candidate and we made use of them with quotes torn directly from the publications. This was my favorite (left/above), but you can see more in the images below.
What is a political campaign without swag? Veering slightly away from brand by opening the design up to new fonts and angles (literally) we created shirts, stickers, and mugs. My interpretation of the merchandise was somewhat different than the outcome (perhaps I wouldn't have chosen green t-shirts) but people loved them and canvassed happily while wearing them.
Somewhere along the way it was decided that Kathryn needed a vehicle to travel between the Burroughs and "could we brand it?" Why not? A van wrap was born and it cruised the streets of New York City during the final weeks of the campaign.
The Garcia for Mayor campaign was multifaceted and broad and succeeded in creating media interest and name recognition. It was a tight race with a new "ranked voting" system in which she placed second by a single percentage point. Despite the loss, Kathryn Garcia's effort didn't go unnoticed and last fall, Governor Kathy Hochul appointed her to Director of State Operations. While her new position might not warrant a branded van, Kathryn Garcia is on her way up and the race for Mayor was a big step on that ladder.