Jubilee beats NASA in digital campaigns – #MadarakaExpress

If there was one thing that cost CORD the 2013 elections, is the lackluster disoriented campaigns that hardly featured online. In 2007, the ODM fraternity had this energy and online coordination that surprised even the pundits. Ads by PNU were smartly countered (remember the kama si domo… response that sent cold waves in PNU’s spine?) In 2013 however, the UhuRuto team had their act together, both offline and online. In 2017, it is already clear that UhuRuto is ahead of their game, as Jubilee beats NASA in digital campaigns.

By 2017 CORD, now expanded to NASA, ought to have learnt their lesson. So far we have heard stories of how NASA intends to safeguard the votes, set up a parallel vote tallying center, and block dead voters from voting. We have heard that their aim is to garner some 10 million strong votes, but the strategy they intend to employ to this end is largely lacking, specifically online.

As I write this, there is already an aggressive drive by Jubilee’s digital team to bring to our attention the delivery portal from where pessimists can go and see for themselves Jubilee’s development record. On the campaign rallies, UhuRuto cannot speak five words without mentioning words such as their score card and lack of a track record by the opposition candidates who have cumulatively been in government for 105 years. To show case their achievements, the UhuRuto duo will always send their listeners to the delivery portal.

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Delivery portal is in every TV Station in prime time. They talk about it in morning talk shows. They appear as guests on radio and TV to enumerate the many achievements they have documented in the portal. Good strategy.

Then they know that the viewers and listeners would like to go online and verify their claims. The listeners would want to counter check if the opponents have better alternative talking points. Probably even discredit those deliveries that Jubilee is talking about. Jubilee knows that if viewers and listeners head online, then they’d search for terms such as “Raila”, “Raila Odinga”, “IEBC” and a few others. This is where Jubilee beats NASA in the digital campaigns.

Jubilee strategists have gone ahead to sponsor articles largely found in the websites Uhuruforus.com and the RealRaila.com using those key words, so that when someone heads online to get news relating to Raila, NASA or IEBC, then the first thing they read are headlines such as “12 reasons to support Uhuru” or “The real Raila”. Key words relating to Jubilee including “Jubilee”, “Uhuru”, “Ruto” among others also lead to the Jubilee’s friendly websites.

In the meantime, searching online for Raila’s or NASA’s talking points leads you to several news articles by Kenyan media or bloggers. No results come from Raila’s, ODM’s or NASA’s owned web portals. For example, by the time of writing this article, I Googled “Raila for President” and got the results shown in the image below.

Jubilee beats NASA

Jubilee beats NASA – search results for “Raila for President” keyword

In the meantime, search results for Uhuru for president provides almost similar results as far as news sources go, but with the common first result which is a sponsored article requesting readers to Support President Uhuru hosted by Uhuruforus.com. The thing is, searching for “Raila for President” not only fails to lead you directly to a Raila hosted web portal, but instead leads you to a page requesting you to support Uhuru for President. Searching for “Uhuru for President” on the other hand takes you directly to the same web portal that seeks your support for Uhuru’s reelection.

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Jubilee beasts NASA on Twitter too. Over the last few weeks, Jubilee teams has been working closely with Twitter trend setters to make #GOKDelivers the trending topic daily. At the time of writing this, #GOKDelivers had taken a back seat to give way to the trend of the day, the biggest launch of a project in Kenya’s history, rightly dubbed #MadarakaExpress. Expect that when the SGR launch has watered down, then #GOKDelivers or another Jubilee’s indirectly sponsored hashtag will rule the Twitter waves.

Jubilee beats NASA is not just an online thing. Offline, if you visit the major towns, you will find that Jubilee has bought spaces in some of the biggest billboards in the towns, effectively painting those towns in Jubilee colours. In the meantime, as much as NASA has tried to paint those towns in NASA colours, NASA presence is not being felt as Jubilee’s presence, not even in the battle ground Kenya’s capital, Nairobi County – where the incumbent governor is from NASA.

The fact that Jubilee is beating NASA in digital campaigns right now, and if the trends of 2013 are to be taken into account, then NASA should start bracing for a potential loss in the August 8th poll. If NASA wants to carry the 8th August victory, then they not only need to make their presence felt across the various online platforms, but must rethink their offline strategies too.

The thing is, Jubilee’s campaign strategies are done by young blood new age thinkers whereas NASA still thinks that the old guard will take them to new heights.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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