Why @Ocasio2018 Won the Primaries without PAC Funding

Posted on
July 31, 2018

Introduction to Our Case Studies

      During our rebranding process, several social media and branding successes caught our attention. As Instagram becomes more widely used for creative, unique content by companies and agencies, in addition to their growing base of users, it will be the center of this series that will analyze the social media profiles of companies. Think of this as the behind-the-scenes for the inspiration of our own storytelling strategy.

     We looked across the spectrum from local Chicago companies to ones with billions in revenue such as Airbnb and also examined work done by political campaigns. By breaking down how they communicate and visualize their message, we have compiled three case studies to explain our inspiration.


     Our first one focuses on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign in the 14th district of New York City. Sticking to her campaign’s commitment to grassroots efforts and engaging with the community, Cortez’s campaign hired a local NYC design company to design her logo and campaigning designs. The main versions of the designs on posters and infographics used a portrait of her set against contrasting colors with text framed in speech bubbles, symbolizing a vocal, pluralistic approach to her campaign. Logo and typography leans forward and mimics revolutionary grassroots campaigns of the past. Couples the photo of Ocasio-Cortez gazing “into the future.” Multicultural design by including Spanish language. Eye-popping design stands out among corporate-backed political campaigns.

An interesting connection between Ocasio-Cortez's Campaign and volunteers. Credit: Tandem NYC

     Her Instagram account focuses on a visual story that portrays the campaign’s points by relating to the potential videos through personal videos and candid photos but also adding in professional designs and ads. Her account used a mix of content that ranged from video reposting of news segments, candid photos with volunteers or fans, and professional photography with in-depth stories that related to aspects of her campaign promises. One example of an in-depth human-centered piece was a story about ocasio touring family businesses and speaking with owners, which was a post accompanied with a photo of her and an owner in a store. While her profile provides a lot of important information such as volunteer drives and people she is working with, her feed and Instagram stories are interjected with funny and exciting pictures to make her personality more appealing.

Authentic emotion and moments in a variety of settings. Credit: @Ocasio2018

     As of July 2nd, 2018, Alexandria’s Instagram page currently has over 182k followers and is now verified. This astounding success confirms her message of changing the political system with group action and community engagement resonated with both the diverse population she was targeting and citizens across the nation. After winning the primaries, there was large jump in her following account from under 10k a couple weeks ago before winning the primaries. Posts would receive 400-1k likes in early May. They now receive 30k-70k likes and continue to gain traction.  

How We Want to Follow in these Footsteps

     After several meetings, client and student interviews, and team workshops, we recreated our own company’s mission and planned the direction we want to head in. We rebranded our website and started fresh social media profiles on Instagram and Facebook, with a brand new tag line that encompasses our new vision. Our shortened Instagram version states, “We create connection by engaging and growing university students’ talents while helping businesses tell their story and articulate their brand.”

Our own Instagram profile @people6co.


Kwun, Aileen. “How the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Campaign Got Its Powerful Design.” Fast      Company, Fast Company, 9 July 2018, www.fastcompany.com/90180561/how-the-      alexandria-ocasio-cortez-campaign-got-its-powerful      design?  utm_source=postup&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Co.Design      Daily&position=1&partner=newsletter&campaign_date=06292018.

Marans, Daniel. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants To Bring Grassroots Organizing To      Washington.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 27 June 2018,      www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-grassroots-      organizing-  washington_us_5b332251e4b0b745f178e159.

Posted on
October 24, 2017
Instagram Case Study