It’s hard to say where Gov. Bill Walker was going with his message, which presumably he approved. It was an attempt at a humorous jab at his leading opponent for governor, Mike Dunleavy, who has a a robust team of young and talented Alaskans working on his behalf, churning out social media messages and videos in rapid succession, always seeming to be one step ahead of the competitors.
Those young Alaskans — in their 20s and 30s — have come up with some savage campaign memes over the past weeks, poking fun of Walker and using contemporary references from pop culture.
But the Walker campaign’s David and Goliath, “Standing Tall for the Phillistines” [sic] meme, shown above, isn’t in the same league. It was the decoration on a rambling fundraising letter to the Walker faithful from the governor’s campaign manager, John-Henry Heckendorn.
The letter made no actual sense, but played metaphorical Twister with an old Bible story, while getting a dig in over Dunleavy’s height challenge of 6’7″.
Heckendorn even threw in a Shaquille O’Neal reference. Sweet.
With the liberal voters that Walker is looking for this season, he may have used the wrong imagery. A recent Pew Research study shows that only 15 percent of those who identify as liberals are Christian. The Bible story theme might have mystified the intended audience.
Memes are a messaging art form, and not everyone has the talent for them.
Here’s a successful meme, one that is easily understood and requires no 500-word fundraising pitch narrative to go with it. (It came #StraightOuttaDunleavyforAlaska. The independent group that produced this one can be found here.)