MAYA For The World (2019)
Campaign, Interaction, Branding

Harrison Kratzer
Isabelle Wolf
Maya For The World is a campaign-style service design project which presents a fictional digital “candidate” making use of common political tactics in order to call attention to the perception of authenticity, and how that perception can be manufactured.

Read the full case-study for more detail


What’s the point of all this?

The power of political branding in a post-truth era

In 2016, the Oxford Dictionary chose “post-truth” as its Word of the Year. Post-truth is defined as  ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’ Donald Trump and his political campaigning have become an embodiment of this word.

We wanted to call attention to the fabrication of authenticity currently present in political campaigns and demonstrate how branding is used to control the audience’s perceptions of political figures. In order to do this, we chose to fabricate a political campaign surrounding a fictional character, named Maya, with the primary goal of highlighting the artificiality of public image today. Maya makes use of numerous touchpoints similar to those of a real-world campaign, but with language crafted to highlight a lack of depth (false promise, blatant pandering, watered down interactions) to allow the target audience to clearly see where they are being targeted and misled within “legitimate” campaigns.

In our case, authenticity refers to the perception of truthfulness which can be manufactured through branding techniques. All of Maya’s touchpoints serve one or more of these six techniques we identified within real-world political campaigns.


Being seemingly upfront and honest; lack of hiding any imperfections or quirks. #relatable

Anything of a tactile nature reiterates realness

The recurrence of brand elements establishes consistency, therefore trust

Those that stand for their beliefs strongly are identified as having forethought and experience

Embracing tastes, beliefs, preferences, and tendencies gives a brand a human quality 

Mimicking corporate entities and their foundational organization creates a perceived sense of realness

Physical Ads

Establishing a “real-life” presence for Maya

Digital Ads


A typeface unifying and empowering the voice of Maya and her followers

Augmented Reality Photo-Op

Bridging the gap between Maya’s digital form and her follower’s physical lives


Creating a sense of realness in Maya’s digital representation


Providing followers with a way to show their support