Special issue: Political marketing: Voters, political parties, candidates and elections

Journal of Customer Behaviour, Volume 15, Number 3, 2016

EDITORIAL: Political marketing: Voters, political parties, candidates and elections
Peter Reeves
“This special edition complements and extends research in political marketing by examining its theory and practice with particular emphasis to the United Kingdom and the United States. From the submitted papers we can see how increasingly: (1) aspects of consumer behaviour theory are being applied to political marketing; (2) political parties are implementing some of the strategies, tactics and practices of political marketing; and (3) elements of political marketing have potential to operate during election campaigns …” Read more >
Reeves, P. (2016). Editorial: Political marketing: Voters, political parties, candidates and elections. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 15(3), 213-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539216X14715139269897

COMMENTARY: Long-term brands rule the US political cycle in 2016
Rick Ridder & Michael Dabbs
“About ten years ago, Leonard Lodish and Carl Mela (2007) wrote a Harvard Business Review article that asked a seemingly simple question: If brands are built over years, why are they managed over quarters? Their argument, in short, is that because companies have become so dependent on their ability to price and profit in real time, they too often neglect their brand’s long-term strength and well-being …” Read more >
Ridder, R. & Dabbs, M. (2016). Commentary: Long-term brands rule the US political cycle in 2016. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 15(3), 217-220. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539216X14594362873857

Looks matter: Facial similarity between a candidate and celebrity endorser influences youth voting behaviour
Natalie Wood & Feng Shen
“There exist two growing and promising areas of research on voting behaviour in political marketing – one explores the influence of celebrity endorsers, and the other examines the effect of facial similarity on voting intentions. Prior studies have found that under certain circumstances, the faces of famous persons can have a positive influence on voters’ opinions about issues, as well as their voting intentions. Research has also shown that manipulating the appearance of a candidate by combining his/her facial features with that of a voter or a celebrity, can, in some situations, lead to enhanced evaluations of a candidate. In this study, we merged these two topics of research and examined how pairing, rather than combining, facially similar and dissimilar celebrity endorsers with an unknown political candidate can influence voters’ attitudes and behaviours …” Read more >
Wood, N & Shen, F (2016). Looks matter: Facial similarity between a candidate and celebrity endorser influences youth voting behaviour. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 15(3), 221-237. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539216X14594362873893

Indirect prejudice: The danger in considering others’ preferences during a primary election
Neil Thomas Bendle & Matthew Thomson
“In a primary election, the normative advice is for voters to consider a candidate’s electability – that is, to incorporate other voters’ preferences into their own choices. We identify an ethical problem with considering electability and investigate indirect prejudice, which is the impact of other voters’ prejudice on a non-prejudiced person’s vote. We use an analytical model to show that indirect prejudice impacts outcomes in a primary election, where considering others’ preferences is normatively superior, but not in a general election, where personal preferences dominate …” Read more >
Bendle, N.T. & Thomson, M (2016) Indirect prejudice: The danger in considering others’ preferences during a primary election. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 15(3), 239-259. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539216X14594362873938

Shades of purple: A discursive analysis of mainstream political party responses to UKIP
Mona Moufahim, Michael Parsons & Patricia Rees
“This paper considers the rise of UKIP and the mainstream parties’ reactions to its stance on immigration. This paper accordingly seeks to examine the specific themes contained within the rhetoric of the mainstream political party leader speeches conveyed between September 2013 and December 2014 in order to ascertain the underlying messages being employed regarding immigration – a key UK 2015 election campaigning topic. This examination will entail a comparative analysis of speeches conveyed by the leaders of the Liberal Democrat, Conservative and Labour Parties, and UKIP. Combining two forms of discourse – Benoit’s (2007) functional theory and Wodak and Meyer’s (2015) analysis of ideology and political discourse – this study addresses the following research question: How have the mainstream political parties responded to UKIP’s challenge on immigration as part of their political communication? …” Read more >
Moufahim, M., Parsons, M. & Rees, P. (2016). Shades of purple: A discursive analysis of mainstream political party responses to UKIP. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 15(3), 261-282. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539216X14594362873974

Corbynmania: Citizen-consumers and the case for an alternative political marketing
Brendan Richardson
“Conventional political marketing has long been regarded by its critics as complicit in falling levels of engagement with the democratic process, specifically with respect to turnout during general elections, and also with regard to falling membership of mainstream political parties. This conceptual paper initially explores the degree to which political marketing may only be one of a number of causative factors with respect to disengagement, and turns to the consumer culture literature to situate disengagement from conventional politics in the wider context of social dis-aggregation and re-aggregation among consumer-citizens intent on forming social bonds grounded in an emotional free choice. It then explores parallels between the Corbynmania phenomenon of 2015 and the manner in which social re-aggregations typically emerge in non-political domains …” Read more >
Richardson, B. (2016) Corbynmania: Citizen-consumers and the case for an alternative political marketing. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 15(3), 283-297. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539216X14594362874018

The rise of brandidates? A cultural perspective on political candidate brands in postmodern consumer democracies
Nadia Kaneva & Austin Klemmer
“This conceptual paper offers a cultural perspective on political candidate brands in postmodern, mediatised consumer democracies. Focusing on the US and the UK, we analyse the cross-disciplinary, scholarly literature on political candidate branding and address two overarching questions: What socio-cultural conditions underlie the emergence of branded political candidates – or brandidates? And how does branding enable political candidates to connect with voter-consumers in new ways? After outlining social and cultural trends that set the stage for the emergence of candidate brands, we discuss and illustrate three strategies that give brandidates a persuasive advantage on the campaign trail …” Read more >
Kaneva, N. & Klemmer, A. (2016) The rise of brandidates? A cultural perspective on political candidate brands in postmodern consumer democracies. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 15(3), 299-313. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539216X14594362874054