The local Times launched their elections play today. It’s pretty basic (although I’m lead to believe this is just phase I), but here’s what I think is really clever and innovative about it:

1. They’ve launched it on a completely new domain called “SA elections“. That says, “we own election coverage”, not to mention the fabulous SEO this will create for them. It’s nice positioning and marketing.

2. They’re aggregating. They’re aggregating their competitors and themselves. They’re putting themselves, one step back, in an overview role for the whole elections. Again, nice positioning.

3. The online supporters is neat, basic but neat. Online votes never work in this country because a large part of the electorate don’t internet. So any online vote ends up looking silly and unrepresentative. This is a good compromise.

So although a basic site, there’s some clever, different thinking going on here. I’d be surprised if this was their only elections site. You would expect this as a bigger, aggregation and content brand together with something closer to home and more embedded in their main site, cos the main site has also got to get some glory.

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