Of the importance of becoming a meme today in politics

Of the importance of becoming a meme today in politics

Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, the first secretary of a party that finds itself in coexistence with itself, is also a candidate in the legislative elections. His fief is the 16e district of Paris, where he has been, four times in a row and with over 70 % of the votes, to the final maturity date.

To launch his campaign on may 11, he went on the field, at the corner of the streets of Nantes and Barbanègre, to meet with his voters with a microphone and a palette of red on which it is mounted. The images, broadcast on the networks by his campaign team, were cruel.

The candidate appeared alone on his pallet, under the eyes of a few people who seemed embarrassed for him. The photos gave the impression that he was speaking in a vacuum, through a small speaker at her feet that accentuate the comedy of the scene.

The photograph, of course, became viral on Twitter because fans of the policy that are lying around on a roll always on 110 % in the wake of the presidential election. It became viral because it is absurd, and that it was immediately seen as a metaphor for the state of the socialist Party. And as it is easily détourable on Photoshop, it is also immediately became a meme.

A bad buzz, quickly forgot about

Look for “palette” and “Cambadélis” on your search engine and you will see the usual compilations of tweets more or less funny that triggers on some sites info the slightest meme policy which takes a little. It is a day in the campaign of a candidate among the thousands who present themselves to the legislative, but it is still a bad buzz as another. Quickly forgotten in the haloes digital.

Except that, as soon as the next day appeared a Twitter account – The Palette of Camba – where the red object which was the source of so much of misappropriation was again diverted, this time by the team of the candidate. In four days, the meme has been re-appropriated and turned into a campaign tool.

The account meta-parody resumes the hashtag supposed to laugh at Cambadélis and pictures diverted from its pallet on the Titanic, on Tiananmen square, on a flying carpet with Aladdin to show that, like everyone else, he does not take seriously. He appreciated the humor. Tweets most recent show of real voters on the true range, with hashtags more classic (#Circo7516 #legislatives2017) as to try to take advantage of the attention that drew on him a meme, and get curious to terrain more familiar from the campaign itself.

A member of his campaign team told France Info Jean-Christophe Cambadélis ” uses of pallets of construction since 1997 “ to talk with his prospective voters.

” The only difference with the last campaign, in 2012, it is that this time the palette is red. “

The other difference size is its virality. It is hard to imagine the responsible for digital campaign of the deputy of paris, who must be familiar with social networks, upload the original photo without knowing that it would create this frenzy, like blood dropped into an ocean full of sharks. And that the return would be a cloud of embezzlement, cruel, of the articles on these diversion on some sites, information, and media exposure free of charge. Or then they knew not, and the account of “the Pallet” is a way to catch the blow, suggesting that fluent in the languages in the second level of fans of memes.

In both cases, it is an operation of it policy based on an object-viral. It may seem trivial to some, a complete waste of time for a responsible policy, but this would ignore that the virtual world is reflected more and more on the real, and that the objects which are born in a become an integral part of the other. Memes are objects, meaning that the policy tries to recover to make tools, with the goal that has always been one of the political campaigns : engage, possibly of interest, to type virtually on the shoulder, even beg a little time to caution voters constantly connected.

Meme-president and virality good-to-take

” We can conceive of the first wave of memes as the product of insiders of 4Chan and the LOLCats “, wrote in 2015 Benjamin Burroughs, a specialist in the subject at the university of Nevada, Las Vegas.

” The second wave saw the knowledge of insiders to become more mainstream and conventional as the tools to make memes and their ubiquity in popular culture are increasing. We are in transition to the third wave, where institutions are beginning to adopt the memes as a form of communication. “

This diagnosis was fully confirmed by the facts. The last presidential campaign in the United States has been overrun by memes of each candidate, often with the backing of the staff, and resulted in the election of Donald Trump, the first “meme president” who has, for example, shared with his millions of followers a meme racist of itself.

In France, one out of a campaign where the candidates for the presidency felt obliged to pass on Snapchat and get filmed with filters, use signs from the american rap to make laughter of the teens, or create memes with a bottle of water thrown into the air. In the current campaign in the United Kingdom, the labour Party communicates as much to the manifesto by the mainstream media that he took advantage of the virality of photos of Jeremy Corbyn carrying a speaker on his shoulders. We are in the era of politicians ” become the flesh LOL for the industry the buzz “, as has been theorized in Slate.

But this pressure is not necessarily imposed. The campaign teams of young people are very aware of the dynamics that exert the social networks on the policy, and in particular of the memes, the message perfectly articulated with the cycles and timely information to the attention capacity of modern. The idea is : if we can’t interest voters to the essential a program, as much to capture their attention with a GIF funny or a video that they will share with their friends.

It is understood the team of Emmanuel Macron, with his famous video where he shouted a little too loud ” this is our project “. Rather than regret appear in blackface Sangoku on thousands of screens, he assumed, as he says in a report of the program ” special Envoy “, doing a calculation, simply :

” Contrary to those who thought you scoffed at the end of this meeting by this means, they have propagated and it reaches people by adjacency which may not have watched the gathering, or listened to the speech, but have just seen this scene. “

This calculation, the relatives of Jean-Christophe Cambadélis have surely also done. The palette of red is there, it escaped us, but like any meme that is floating on the Internet, it can be recovered and reinterpreted. So why deprive, any virality free is good to take.

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