(Team 5) Ana Lapieree, Armen Gevorkian, Sandra Wendell
What is Moneyocracy and what is its goal?
The supreme courts decision on January 21, 2010 in the case Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission defined how the expensive and extensive U.S. elections would be run in the future.
Moneyocracy’s aim is to deliver a non-partisan and unbiased perspective on the current happenings in U.S. democracy and the upcoming elections. Furthermore, the goal is to express what implications the present role of corporations and private donors has, thus the privatization of the U.S. electoral system. The main motivation of these two journalists who runs this is to investigate in an objective manner how this decision affects the democratic process in the U.S and that there is a concrete and evident blurring of boundaries between the corporations and the elections.
The project investigates the rising power of ‘Super Political Action Committee’s’ and the organizations related or linked to them. .
Not there yet…
Moneyocracy is a start-up and is currently trying to get as much funding as possible to realize their project. Even though it has not been launched we still chose to select this case since they are a small and independent company, just like Froose, which is the company we are trying to make a transmedia campaign for. We believe that we can learn from this start-up and how they are dealing with the issues at hand concerning their funding and marketing. Moneyocracy have got some problems regarding funding and branding that we want to learn from to create a successful transmedia campaign for Froose.
Business model (Adopted from the Week 5 lecture slides)
Exhibit Platforms & Transmedia elements
The project is an educative transmedia experience and consists of an interactive documentary (i-doc), a film-documentary and a comic book. With these three elements the issue is explored and each medium focus on certain aspects of the danger between citizens vs. F.E.C ruling on the U.S democracy.
The platform we liked the most was the interactive ‘i-doc’, this allows the audience to make several of different decisions of a strategic campaign for a candidate called Bill O’Maney. How well you will succeed depends on where the funding for the campaign (Super PAC, donations, corporate money or public opinion). This platform is supposed to raise questions, such as if you can win without being involved with big financial backing further explaining and informing the player about the issue at hand. Its main purpose is to educate and inform through an interactive and engaging experience.
The scope of this project in the U.S can be considered relatively high since it concerns all citizens. The complexity of the issue does require from the audience general interest in politics and in the upcoming electoral process or general interest in the electoral system. The project is mainly web-based and therefore is easily accessible.
Knowing the fact that they do not have enough funding for their project leaves a lot of room for development, this is where the opportunities lie to enhancing there business model. The idea itself is innovative and interesting; involving citizens more in politics can be tricky especially when dealing with such controversial topics. The most suitable approach to improve the business model of Moneyocracy is to implement a marketing initiative that would enhance audience advocacy ultimately leading to larger donations, thus generating value for the citizens in retrieving ‘essential’ information on the U.S. electoral system.
The products that range over three mediums (Documentary, Interactive Documentary and Comic book) that increase the value of the information retrieved by the audience through the integration of audiences opinion and a creative way of delivering complex messages. There are also already visually designed prototypes that are done and which the audience can take a look at.
The platforms are supposed to be launched at the same time, but if not enough money exists the documentary will be released first as an initiative to promote the idea and try to further expand their audiences, a sort of ‘pre-sell’.
- Maintain or boost brand awareness – “Moneyocracy is an immersive and educative experience crafted to raise awareness about the dangers of the citizens united vs. FEC ruling on U.S democracy and to change how democracy is perceived.“. (Moneyocracy, n.d.)
- Reach beyond the usual or core consumer
- Generate the experience around the website.
- Reward or empower advocates to incorporate their participation in the initiative.
- Generate a buzz around the initiative by expanding on the importance of the issue.
- Fortify the existing brand image to support the initiative, thus creating a more attractive and appealing environment for the audience.
Finance & funding
They are constantly looking for sponsors, having two sponsorships so far. They also had a crowd-funding campaign, which now is ended, and it is possible to donate money on the website. Unfortunately, the money gathering has not been as successful as they hope. We believe that this is due to several of factors that is included in the marketing and the way of spreading the message of the project.
So far they have funded 12,000 dollars from donations and the crowdfunding campaign.
Moneyocracy currently is trying to put forth an interactive initiative; there current branding strategies pan out over a number of platforms mainly focused on the Internet. Our evaluation of their social media presence has resulted in a number of key findings:
- The Moneyocracy Facebook page is extensive and is being maintained on a regular basis.
- The other platforms, such as Twitter and Youtube, lack content and seem to be neglected, this can be seen as a weak point that allows them to miss out on a substantial number of potential target groups.
In our opinion they should work more with press releases and expand the customer advocacy on Facebook page, by generating a buzz around the issue through different networks e.g Barack Obama’s statements using various other personalities who believe in their mission. Their marketing efforts are poor, so to initiate awareness in what they are striving for they need to make the website more user friendly and put the existing interactive elements in the forefront (Heimans, 2008), in this case their ‘Timeline which they have on their website of political happenings.’
Critical Evaluation & Implementation:
- They should use Social Media Platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube), Press Releases, Extensive Press Kits for Bloggers and Journalists to simplify the dissemination (Boyer Clark, 2012)
- The premise on which this project works is to look past the recruitment of influential customers.
- They should use Journalistic network of the two creators and the try to involve prominent politicians to generate press releases and a meia hype around the issue.
- The project is in interest of the public so using traditional mediums to spread the message would be appropriate. They can try to do this by working with press releases and therefore trying to receive free publicity through magazines or specialized publications on this matter.
-The journalists themselves can hold public discussion forums in cafés or on the street to raise general awareness on this specific issue.
- Attempt to introduce this issue at universities.
- Use the radio to get out to people (however, this is a question tightly related to funding since it may be expensive)
- Create a logo that is eye-catching, going beyond traditional marketing initiate a guerilla marketing initiative to attract consumers.
- Get more people involved in their team who would be willing to spread the word.
- Use private contacts to push this subject in different social media outlets.
The tactical solutions mentioned above rely on enhancing awareness on the issue, this ultimately would increase usage of content produced by Moneyocracy that would result in more parties becoming interested and recognizing potential in the project, thus increasing donations to launch the transmedia initiative successfully.
References (used concerning the suggestions on branding and additional information we did not found from the website on the startup):
Heimans, J. (2011, March. 18). How social media can reinvigorate consumer advocacy. Mashable. Retrieved from http://www.mashable.com
Boyer Clark, T. (2012, April. 12). Re: Crownfunded transmedia project “Moneyocracy” to document U.S. politics and 2012 election. [Web log message]. Retrieved from Innocative Interactivity Blog, http://www.innovativeinteractivity.com
Kapoor, R. (2012, October). Seminar week 3, World building. PowerPoint uploaded on the course blog http://ibcomtransmedia2012.wordpress.com/seminar-slides/slides-week-5/
Moneyocrazy. (n.d.). http://www.moneyocracy-project.com