Google Politics & Elections 2012
The Project: In advance of the 2012 elections, Google once again set out to organize the world’s information, this time focusing on the empowerment of voters by arming them with the news, information and knowledge required to become more meaningful participants in the country’s democratic process. There’s no question that the web is poised to deliver more political information, opinion and news than any other medium.
Google and JESS3 foresee the Internet playing its biggest role yet in American elections: for voters, providing them with the information they need as they head into the polls on Election Day; for campaigns, offering platforms for sharing their message, networking and even fundraising; and for the media, granting access to information faster and more easily than ever.
The Methodology: For this project, perhaps more so than in any other in the JESS3 portfolio, neutrality was critical. Conventional wisdom teaches us that everyone has personal opinions, beliefs and prejudices and we ought to be innately suspicious (perhaps rightfully so) of anyone with a megaphone or agenda. However, when partnering with Google — a company that has staked its reputation on helping users find information as impartially and bias-free as possible — there’s no room for error. Working closely with Google, JESS3 helped lead the charge in strategy, design, project and program management, as well as prototyping to help Google create what is the beginning of a comprehensive, objective hub for the 2012 elections.
The Result: Launched in late 2011, the first phase of Google Politics & Elections is geared toward the kick-off of the 2012 Election Cycle, starting at the beginning of the campaign trail in Iowa. For the first version of the site, we built the Trends Dashboard as a tool to take the political pulse on the Internet: in real-time, users can compare candidates’ YouTube video views, website and search traffic, +1s and Google News mentions. Additionally, users can sort through election information quickly — whether it’s by most popular, race or issues — to find the information they need. The site also provides valuable tools for media, including real-time information on the most recent trends, mapping data and YouTube videos from across the political spectrum. Campaigns, politicians and politicos can also take advantage of the many Google tools and features that allow them to reach, engage and inspire voters to action. As Nov. 6, 2012, draws nearer, the site will evolve into a robust election hub where citizens can watch, learn, discuss, participate — and perhaps even make an impact on — the digital campaign trail as it blazes forward to the election of the next President of the United States.
Called “The Essential Guide to Facebook Emoticons,” The Next Web premiered JESS3’s graphic outlining how to create emoticons in Facebook messages, comments and chats. Displaying everything from Chris Putnam to a penguin, the emoticons and their keyboard shortcuts give users a wide breadth of fun options. As noted by The Next Web, JESS3’s graphic reveals the tricks of the keyboard shortcut trade to solve an “age-old problem” — expressing one’s excitement, or penguin obsession, through Facebook of course.
JESS3’s founder, Jesse Thomas, sat down with Marketing Land as one of 8 industry experts, including other designers and top level executives, to answer the questions “What makes an excellent infographic?” and “What should my expectations be for an infographic?” Jesse stressed in his answers that infographics need to be beautiful, but also meaningful and have the data to back them up, because “the primary purpose of an infographic is to spark informed conversation and action.” He also noted that “An infographic should be intelligent and tell the audience something they don’t already know, but say it with words and terms they do.”
Mashable highlighted JESS3’s lo-fi approach to self-marketing at SXSWi 2013: posters. The site reported that for a conference positioned around new trends and cutting-edge technology, posters remain an effective and popular means of marketing. Tech start-ups have to compete for top-of-mind exposure at the annual interactive festival, driving companies to lace-up their shoes and go “old school” with marketing visuals. Mashable quoted CEO and founder, Jesse Thomas, as a leader in this trend, and someone who knows the “fight for space” is worth the return via logo exposure and business inquiries.
Infographic and data visualization community Visual.ly featured The Workplace Zodiac, an infographic created by JESS3 for Mindjet, on its front page. Outlining the dynamics of different Work Personality Types, the infographic was the final piece of Mindjet’s Workology series, which examines every team member’s role for maximizing team success. Although the project’s original intention was to drive brand awareness, Mindjet incorporated the series into their sales team’s efforts as well. The infographic is now in the top 5% of Business content on Visual.ly.
Mashable featured JESS3’s Creepy Cupid series of digital valentines as part of their Valentine’s Day coverage, publicizing their humour and connection to the all-too-real online world of dating. Our graphics, called a “hilarious set,” use real quotes from online dating site OKCupid to encapsulate the boldness — and the trepidations — of online dating. Ranging from the silly to the outright absurd, the shareable cards were optimized for social media and capitalized on the hashtag #CreepyCupid. Mashable noted that regardless of whether love is blind, our playful graphics are “all the visualization you need.”
JESS3’s third version of the Geosocial Universe premiered in an exclusive on The Next Web, one of the world’s largest online tech publishers. The Geosocial Universe 3.0 illustrates the vastness of geosocial networking, highlighting the major social networks as planets orbitting the "sun" of nearly 6 billion global mobile devices — “depicting exactly where mobile stands in today’s ecosystem.” The Next Web noted how the Geosocial Universe 3.0 sheds light on growing mobile traffic, showing “just how big those numbers have become” in the ever-expanding geosocial-sphere.
The Huffington Post’s Los Angeles vertical spotlighted “Coachella by the Likes,” JESS3’s infographic examining Coachella’s roster by number of “Likes” each band has on Facebook. We matched the number of Facebook fans per musical act with their graphic presence on the annual Coachella lineup poster. Making use of the Facebook-liking, data-driven generation, the resulting visualization triggered insightful discoveries about the festival’s lineup. The Huffington Post used our findings to surmise whether “Coachella's iconic poster [does] justice to the most popular acts when it comes to prominence and font size.”
iMedia Connection named JESS3 to the iMedia 25 agency list, recognizing JESS3 as a key agency that has advanced interactive marketing through big ideas, brilliant creative, cutting-edge technology, and the passionate pursuit of excellence in the digital space. Citing our work with Samsung, ESPN, American Express, and recent partnership with the Google Politics and Elections team for the 2012 National Conventions, the article states, “JESS3 has a gift for turning numbers into stories and a passion for creating content strategies that resonate over the long haul.”