Political campaigns run a lot of advertisements to gain support. There are different ways for these advertisements to reach voters. Television, digital media, and direct mail are the three main communication outlets that campaigns will use to target voters. With social media on the rise, it is interesting to see how campaigns and outside influences will use these apps to help or hurt specific candidates.
ShredderVs is an account on TikTok that has reached over 1.2 million followers in about its two years of existence. The account focuses on shredding items in an industrial-sized shredding machine. After amassing a large following throughout the last two years, Nic Mackaman, the account’s owner, did not expect to receive a request to do political advertising on his account. However, earlier this fall, Mackaman received a request through an online portal that allows content creators to filter through requests from companies wanting to collaborate.
According to Mackaman, the request was for him to create ten shredding videos. The items to be shredded were Nikki Haley-related, and “satirical captions” referenced the former Ambassador. Mackaman also believes that the company chose his TikTok account because of his unique content and large following, which could potentially hit their target demographic.
Mackaman created one video for the company but took it down shortly afterward. The company asked if he could take it down and use a different video that they would then edit to fulfill their needs. The new videos should be uploaded before the highly important caucuses in the next few weeks.
When asked if he would ever do these types of videos again, Mackaman said, “I think I would do it again as long as most people don’t get upset about it and understand that these are not my political views. Also, as long as the captions in the video are the industry standard for what is acceptable to say in a political ad, I think it’s a creative and unique idea for a political ad, and seeing how these types of ads could be made more creatively and funnily would be something I would be ok being a part of.”
As the political landscape continues to change with the additions of new technology, it is interesting to see how campaigns and outside organizations will use these mediums to influence the electorate.