Thursday, 18 April 2013

LINDA REID on the campaign strategy of Burma Shaving

Burma-shaving has become synonymous with election campaigns, yet few people know what the term means or even its history.

Did you know that ‘Burma Shaving’ originated in the 20’s and ’30 when the manufacturers of Burma Shaving Cream in the U.S. rejuvenated their flagging company by erecting their signs along key highways and thoroughfares? There were actually a series of signs, where drivers had to follow each one to get the final message. Their strategy coincided with the expansion of the highway system in the U.S. and the transition from horse and buggy to the automobile. Soon Burma-Shave signs were sprouting up on the roads of America, including the iconic Route 66 across the country’s heartland.

Although the Burma-Shaving brand and the company that made it has long disappeared, the term "Burma-Shave” lives on. Burma-shaving now refers to the direct method of reaching voters—particularly the commuting crowd—by gathering with supporters at the side of the road with election signs. Drivers can see the candidate first-hand and be reminded that the election is underway and that it is important to vote. Ironically, given our online and social media age, Burma-shaving remains one of the most effective ways to reach voters and instantly receive feedback. Drivers are invited to honk if they’re supporters; unfortunately, the response can sometimes go the other way too but that’s all part of the campaign experience.

Over the next four weeks, I look forward to seeing you on the byways and thoroughfares of Richmond East and hope you’ll join us. To sign up as a ‘Burma-Shaver’ and support our campaign, call the Garden City Campaign Office at 604-276-8868 or our Hamilton Office at 604-710-9533.

(Authorized by Kimberly Sorensen, Official Agent for the Linda Reid Campaign, 604-276-8868)