Gubernatorial candidates go online for campaigns
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Realizing the power of social media among Jakartans, both campaign teams of Fauzi Bowo and Joko “Jokowi” Widodo have gone beyond Twitter and Facebook in their campaign strategies ahead of the runoff.
Both now work together with creative brains in creating virtual games to get into the hearts of voters.
In August, Jokowi’s camp launched an online game entitled Selamatkan Jakarta (Save Jakarta), with Jokowi as the hero.
It depicts the Surakarta mayor as a hero who throws bombs and rockets at corrupt officials and gang members.
The game was adopted from the famous Angry Birds with several modifications.
“We chose to use the concept of a game that is already famous because that way, people will be more familiar with the rules of the game,” Juwanda, one of the game’s creators said.
Juwanda said that the idea of the game crossed his mind when he and four colleagues got stuck in Jakarta’s traffic.
They then decided to develop something new with the skills they had mastered that could help change Jakarta.
“We gathered for brainstorming, decided on the theme and just started to work on the game,” the Information Technology (IT) professional said.
Once completed, the game was exhibited at a Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) alumni gathering, where Jokowi was present.
“He was surprised when we presented our work during the gathering. We then asked for his permission to upload it on our website and Facebook,” he said.
Since its launch, the game has attracted more than 500,000 users.
Juwanda said that although it was a voluntarily project, Jokowi had provided them with a better server as their old server went down due to the high number of users who accessed the game.
“We now have a competition for the game. The winner will be able to have a meal together with Pak Jokowi,” he said.
Not wanting to be left behind, Fauzi’s team launched an online game last week.
A website dedicated to Fauzi, bangfauzi.com, introduced the game entitled Bersatu Jakarta (Jakarta Unite) which features the governor’s programs like the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, education and health subsidies and the city’s East Flood Canal.
The website coordinator, Anis Fuad Hasyim, said that they had been working on the game since July. They wanted to inform people about the administration’s programs in a fun way.
“Through this game, we’re trying to make younger people more aware of programs that we have,” he said.
In the MRT phase of the game, users put as many passengers as possible on the train in 30 seconds and then move the train as fast as possible from Lebak Bulus to Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, the first construction phase of the MRT.
In addition to online games, the two candidates have also used YouTube and Skype, as campaign tools.
Campaign team of Fauzi and Nachrowi Ramli launched a music video, titled “Fokelah Kalo Begitu” Official Video, in June.
The one-minute video shows the pair promising to tackle Jakarta’s chronic traffic problems by constructing elevated roads, giving free education and health services, and tells the success story of the East Flood Canal.
Last month, the supporters of Jokowi and Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama also launched a parody music video, entitled “Jokowi dan Basuki — What makes you beautiful”. The song was originally performed by One Direction.
According to politicawave.com, a site monitoring political conversation in the social media, ahead of the runoff on Sept. 20, the trend of people’s awareness of the two candidates on social media has been increasing.
The highest conversation on Jokowi and Basuki on social media recorded on Sept. 15 that reach 55,311 buzzes, while for Fauzi, the highest buzzes recorded on Sept. 14, amounting to 46,584 buzzes, with Twitter as the most-used media.
A social media practitioner, Arif Zulkifli, previously said that the use of social media would be beneficial for candidates because social media users were proactive people who usually actively sought information and recommendations from people they trusted in the virtual world.