Monthly Archives: July 2009

Tricking the ill-informed

This advert is so appallingly dull that it led to Garfield (of Advertising Age fame) writing a withering indictment of political advertising as a discipline.  If you like reading a stream of biting criticism, read this (and my biography if it ever gets written).

He believes that political advertising’s stock in trade is ‘tricking the ill-informed’ and simplifying complex issues to the point where it’s a 30 second lie.  Pretty damning stuff…

BUT he doesn’t believe that political adverts, such as the above, are ‘bad adverts’, he just laments the level that the advertisers have to stoop to.  He points out that the single most important objective political communication is to persuade ‘undecided’ members of the electorate of one thing or another.  And, the people that are easy to persuade, according to Garfield, are the thick people.

So the authors of this ad tried to make healthcare reform stupefyingly simple in the hope that those with a double digit  IQ can digest it and parrot it to their friends.  I’m going to dub such a strategy ‘The Susan Boyle’ – it’s not pretty but it’s going to win you some votes.

Bottled Water Causes Blindness in Puppies

Bottled water causes blindness in puppies start a lie

The anti-bottled water campaign group Tappening have launched a new campaign called Start a lie.  The integrated campaign features various posters, example above, that propose bombastic lies about negative effects of bottled water and direct people to a campaign microsite.  The design of the posters are very stylish and certainly eye catching whilst the headlines are so bizarre that they cut-through.

At startalie.com users can upload on to a message board their own lie about bottled water industry.  The campaign group believe the bottled water industry advertise lies about their product – Evian’s new Live Young campaign is slightly hyperbolic… – so why can’t the general public write lies about the bottled water industry?

The campaign is really slickly designed, has very high quality production values and the ‘lie’ positioning is an interesting and quirky new line of attack for this issue.

Still alive – as is Italian Communism

Apologies for another short absence, been recess-ing in Italy for the week.  As is becoming tradition, here’s a snap of some of the political advertising I came across.  Not to harp on, but it’s amazing how in every country one visits – even in a sleepy Italian village such as Matginana – one can’t complete a journey without coming across some sort of political communication.

Perugia Political advertising communism

‘Parliamentary Resources’ pushed to another level

Phil Goff New Zealand Political Advertising

And we think that UK politicians are bad when it comes to partizan promotion using money given for ‘parliamentary resources’.  This is national mail-shot that Phil Goff, Leader of the Opposition Labour Party in New Zealand, is charging to ‘parliamentary resources’.  You’ve got to appreciate the ambition and if you can’t be creative with your adverts (‘hard work, inspiration and fierce belief in New Zealand’…) why not be creative with your accounting?

New Conservative Party Advert on International Aid

The Conservative Party have just launched a new advert to promote a policy announcement on international development.  They continue to use this ‘Girl Effect’ style of advert; for an advert hack like me it’s feeling a bit tired now, but no doubt it’d be impactful for someone viewing a Tory advert for the first time – if they included a few bits of non-typed animation it would certainly jazz it up a bit.

I won’t go into any detail as to the content of the policy initiative, but it certainly seems like a new territory for The Conservatives.  In terms of political marketing, releasing content around international development at the same time as Obama tours Africa is a really smart, capitalising move.

Political advertising postcard

Just got back from a few weeks in Zanzibar on holiday (apologies for the short absence), so by way of a political advertising postcard here’s some campaigning activity by Zanzibar CUF secretary-general Maalim Seif.

I found these posters and stenciled slogans in  Zanzibar’s answer to Speaker’s Corner, a place called ‘Jaws’ in Zanzibar town.  Apparently it’s also a fantastic place to watch English Premier League football… in case you’re in the area and in danger of missing a clash…

maalim seif zanzibar political campaign

Maalim Seif