The Seven Secrets of Political Theater
On this special edition of 99% Invisible, we joined forces with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC to investigate all the thought that goes into the most miniscule details of a political campaign.
Secret 01: Politicians are brands.
Secret 02: Every campaign has a team of people to reinforce that brand. These are the advance people who show up and stage events with objects (eg., hay bales, backdrops, specific locations, etc.).
Secret 03: Advance teams for both parties run campaigns the same way, with the same considerations.
Secret 04: Every campaign sends out “spies”, or trackers, to follow the other campaign. Bonus half secret: campaigns often become friends with the trackers from the opposing campaign.
Secret 05: Everything is staged. Nothing is extemporaneous. Even the debates. It’s all theater.
Secret 06: No matter how carefully advance teams prepare, things are bound to go wrong. Consider this Murphy’s Law as applied to politics.
Secret 07: Everyone traveling with the campaigns, the advance teams, the candidates and the reporters, hate the music.
Runtime: ~17 minutes. Learn more about 99% Invisible.