Dig Insights

Dig Insights

October 16, 2014 10:30 ET

Dig Insights Answers the Question, How Do Voters See Toronto Mayoralty Candidates? - Ford has Clearest Story Followed by Tory and Chow

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 16, 2014) - Dig Insights, an international brand research firm based in Toronto, conducted consumer research in determining how voters perceive each of the leading mayoralty candidates for the October 27th municipal election.

"How people perceive candidates can show strengths and weaknesses of their campaigns and how their messages are received by voters," said Michael Edwards, Executive Director of Dig Insights. "Just like companies invest in creating images for their brands so to do politicians."

"We asked voters their perceptions of the candidates based on twelve standard archetypes that Dig Insights uses to consult on brand positioning engagements. Voters were asked how well each candidate expresses the positive and negative characteristics that define each archetype," Edwards explained.

"The results were extremely revealing," said Marcie Connan, Vice President of Dig Insights. "For example, voters identify Doug Ford with the Hero/Warrior archetype. The Hero is competitive while the warrior is aggressive. He has secondary associations with the Outlaw. Most of these associations are rebelliousness, which can be positive or negative."

"John Tory on the other hand is perceived as the Ruler (associated with leadership), with secondary Sage (intellectual) and Hero associations," said Connan. "The Ruler associations are mostly positive and avoid the negative, controlling aspect that the Ruler can project."

"Olivia Chow is seen most clearly as a Caregiver. This has positive associations (linked to the characteristic "caring" and negative associations (linked to the characteristic "passive")," pointed out Connan. "She also has Everyman associations, which make her the most relatable candidate. These associations are mostly positive and linked to the characteristic "friendly."

Connan noted that, "Of the three candidates, Olivia Chow is telling the least clear archetypal story. She is associated with five different archetypes. This indicates that she has not communicated a clear message about her brand character. In contrast, Doug Ford tells the clearest story followed by John Tory."

According to Connan, "We are social creatures. We want/need to communicate who we are to each other." She went on to explain, "Archetypes are a framework for this kind of communication. We all know people who frame their self-image as the rebellious Outlaw who questions authority and established norms, the adventurous Explorer who craves new experience or the supportive Caregiver, who helps others to succeed."

"The candidates we support can be one of the ways in which we communicate who we are. If a candidate is strongly associated with an archetype, people can use their support as a signal to others," Edwards concluded.

The research conducted between September 20 and October 3, 2014 surveyed 1,009 eligible voters in the City of Toronto and the field work was conducted by AskingCanadians.

A copy of the executive summary is attached and Mr. Edwards and his colleague Marcie Connan are available for interviews.

A copy of the executive summary can be found using the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/executive_summary.pdf.

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