On Sunday afternoon, Hillary Clinton announced that she’s running for president in a short video entitled “Getting Started” posted on her website.
The video features a series of people getting ready for changes in their lives—a family preparing to move, two brothers opening a business, a college student looking for work and a little boy preparing for a role in a school play—before Clinton appears and announces that she's seeking the presidency.
As far as a messaging strategy goes, the video attempts to take the focus away from Clinton and her announcement and put it on her intended audience—those who can identify with the people featured in the video (save for the one who is running for president of the United States). Clinton doesn’t appear until about three-quarters of the way through, and she’s shot in the same way as everyone else in the video. The video isn't so much an instance of the campaign trying to make Clinton "one of us" as much as it's a moment for the campaign to affirm the idea that "us," or regular people, will be the focus of the campaign.
Anything Hillary Clinton does—especially announcing she is running for president—will be scrutinized, a fact of contemporary presidential politics most recently evidenced by the heated discussion surrounding her campaign logo. The messaging strategy laid out by her short campaign announcement video is one other brands and organizations prone to criticism can take to heart: Take the focus off of yourself and put it on those you are trying to reach.
Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene