We are proud to announce that Tectonica has been named the winner at the 2017 Reed Awards in the category of Best European Website for our digital design and development work on the Sadiq Khan for London Mayor campaign.
The Reeds can be best described as the “Oscars of the political industry”. Named after “Campaigns & Elections” (C& E)’s founder Stanley Foster Reed, they took place February 17th in Las Vegas and were attended by a wide range of the industry’s best and brightest on both sides of the political spectrum. The awards saw a wide range of recognition of political work from The RNC’s Get Out the Vote Program to Devine Mulvey Longabaugh’s Bernie Sanders TV ad “They’ve All Come to Look for America.”
The Event’s organizers from C&E’s magazine who host the annual celebration noted that this year saw by far the highest number of nominated submission in the event’s nine year history resulting in a heightening of the judging criteria. Said Shane D'Aprile of C&E “if you’ve won this year you know you truly have earned the claim to being the best”.
Tectonica Studios was named finalists in five categories including Best International Firm, and both Best Website For Issue Advocacy Or Public Affairs Campaign and Best Overall Website for its work on DCI- Palestine’s US-based advocacy campaign “No Way to Treat A Child”. Tectonica was honored to stand as finalists and winners alongside several other NationBuilder Agencies including Van City Studios, Four Tier Strategies and Hines Digital.
While it might strike a note of interest that a South American-based firm has won the award for Best European website, the studio has an extensive portfolio of major political work on the continent including party-based work for the UK Labour Party, the Scottish National Party, Switzerland’s FDP, and a wide range of individual European candidates including French presidential candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Owen Smith’s bid for Labour Leadership, and Sion Simmons Midlands mayoral campaign among others.
The London mayoral campaign of Sadiq Khan reached out to Tectonica to build a website harnessing the strength of NationBuilder to communicate messaging and organize supporters – with a particular focus on recruitment and organizing of volunteers. Mr Khan’s message clearly resonated with the residents of London as he sailed to victory with 1.3M votes to Tory Zac Goldsmith’s .9M votes, which gave him the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history. This wasn’t the only first in this impressive campaign, Mr Khan is the first Muslim mayor of London and in fact of any major European city.
Mr Khan ran an authentic campaign with his own voice and personality shining and cutting through the normal political campaign rhetoric - including running his own Facebook and Twitter to connect directly with voters. His web presence relied heavily on photos and videos of him engaging with Londoners in a casual and relatable way. His story - that of a son of a Tooting bus driver was their story. The website was the vehicle for utilizing this narrative as the inspiration for a movement driven by volunteers and supporters. It presented housing and other key issues to constituents at the forefront and used visual design elements that communicated the importance of these platform ideas. The colorful visual identity of the website represented the campaign’s core message of a positivity, a leader who would celebrate a diverse London, and a mayor who would act boldly to represent Londoner’s interests.
Mar Spada, Principal of Design, speaks to the campaign’s unique design saying, “At Tectonica we think of the website as the essential tool that help organize campaign efforts both digital and on the field, and in the case of Sadiq Khan, we knew the website had to based on a campaign custom-tailored strategy, speak in a fresh, original language, above all be easy to use, and at the same time reflect the historic importance of the election. We did this by creating a narrative that would allow users that were as diverse as London is to engage with the campaign and vote for Mr. Khan.”
This historic campaign was a beacon of hope in 2016. Mr Khan ran on a platform of hope instead of fear and as a Muslim in times of great discrimination faced seemingly insurmountable challenges. Professor Tony Travers, director of LSE London said “Cosmopolitan London will be reflecting on this result that London is capable of putting race, religion and identity to one side. This is concrete evidence of that.” Labour has reasserted its dominance in London with a strengthened activist base and the demographic trends suggest this will last for some time. While many European capitals struggle with terrorism and refugees, London has elected its first Muslim mayor. This symbolic victory presents opportunities for growth, healing and cohesiveness at a time when they are sorely needed in the world. Tectonica gave the campaign the digital presence it needed to achieve this.
Ned Howey, Principal Strategy at Tectonica said of the significance of the campaign winning at the Reeds, “It says a lot that in the political age of Trump, where the world seems to be going ever more towards division and political scapegoating, that a studio which is LGBT, Latin American, and immigrant-owned, can have a role in the campaign which elected the first Muslim Mayor of a major European city. We believe that working together across our differences and our diversity makes us stronger”.