I came across the trippiest political campaign site I’ve ever seen today. Check out Eric Jon Gunderson for Congress (D-MT). We’ve got a litany of design offenses here: background music, spinning logos and clip art. We’ve also got some features that are just bizarre: an animated illustration of someone playing guitar in front of a tree and a section labeled fun that includes a typing test for reasons beyond me. The site is also missing the most basic of campaign site features. No donation form. No volunteer sign up.

As someone who works in web development, my first instinct was to pass judgment, write a snarky post and move on. But then I started thinking back to a Robert Scoble blog entry I read a few months ago about anti-marketing web design. To paraphrase, the theory is that sites like MySpace succeed in part because their designs are unprofessional – the lack of slickness makes them genuine and a true reflection of the site’s community of users.

Do I think the Gunderson site is successful? Nope. Would I advise a client to build a site like this? Absolutely not. But you know what, almost all campaign sites I’ve seen are devoid of personality, fun and humor. They are professional and cold and say very little about who the candidate actually is as a person. The Gunderson site most definitely has some personality. It is authentic, almost like a MySpace profile. There is a sweet spot between the heartless approach of most campaign sites and the homegrown style of the Gunderson site. That sweet spot is what I think campaigns should aim for.
Screen shot after the jump.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.