Monthly Archives: August 2010

There’s Probably No God

Continuing today’s antipodean theme… above is an advert by The Humanist Society of New Zealand.

The advert recieved just a single complaint from the laid back Kiwi public, in stark contrast to the 392 complaints that the British Advertising Standards Authority recieved when the British Humanist Association’s ran an advert stating “there’s probably no God” (in riposte to a bus-side ad by The Christian Party which told consumers that “There Definitely is a God”).

(via Campaign)

Labour’s Legacy

Last week the Conservative Party released a video entitled ‘Labour’s Legacy’ which set out to remind voters that the massive public sector cuts which are being inflicted by the coalition government are as a direct result of the Labour government’s actions.

There’s no hiding from it, the video is dull.  If you’re going to tease and (attempt to) build tension in a video for 1 minute and 15 seconds, the big reveal better be something pretty good.  Two words in 3D lettering isn’t exactly mind-blowing.

An attack ad can really kick you in the nuts

Oh no!?! Did she just?? She did! Right in the nuts! Again and again and again!!!


This political ad, created by Connecticut Senate candidate Peter Schiff,  attacks his fellow Republican candidate (ex WWE CEO)  Linda McMahon for being too liberal.

Showing your opposition kicking a man in the nuts over and over again is certainly going to win you support from the male contingent of the electorate.

Linda, if you’re reading, kicking a man in the balls is never big or clever -  particularly if you’re going to ask a load of chaps to vote for you at some stage.

“Hi, it’s Ken Livingstone here”

Ken Livingstone’s campaign have started to use text messages to London Labour Party members’ mobile phones to canvass for support and recruit volunteers.  Ken’s text, which went out last week, said:

“Hi it’s Ken Livingstone. Hope you don’t mind me texting about your choice of candidate for Mayor. Can I count on your support? Reply Y or N”

Replying with a ‘Y’ meant receiving another text asking if you’d be interested in volunteering.  If you responded positively again it led to a member of the campaign team giving you a call and having a chat.

What a great piece of electioneering.

Opening up with a polite, low involvement and unobtrusive question which tells you quickly how many active supporters you have (those who answer positively to first text, but don’t want to volunteer).

These active supporters (‘active’ because they texted back, as oppose to people who might vote for Ken but couldn’t be arsed to reply) are important to uncover as they are the sort of people that, with a bit of cajoling and election-hype could easily become ‘advocates’ further down the line.

Those that reply positively to the text about be willing to volunteer are already advocates.  Advocates are the life blood of any campaign and the sort of people campaign managers can never have enough of.  Advocates will get their friends and family to vote for you, turn up to phone banking sessions and be on the door-step on election day.

Following up with a phone call to these fledgling advocates will make them feel part of the team and thus more likely to commit more of their time and energy to the campaign.

Yes We Ken

Ken Livingstone’s campaign to become the Labour candidate for the Mayor of London has released a hilarious ‘Yes We Ken’ twibbon so that supporters can show their loyalty on Twitter.

I love the fact that the campaign isn’t taking itself too seriously and has brought a bit of levity to a battle that could only too easily become incredibly factional and bitter.

What the fuck is my social media strategy?

There are three words, that when combined, are responsible for more hours of hot air talked, volumes of bullshit written and vacuous PowerPoint charts created than any other in the history of the English Language.

Social. Media. Strategy.

How many Directors of Communications for political parties, candidates and pressure groups have spent countless hours pouring their hearts and souls into serving up their own brand of social media bullshit to their masters?

No more.

Now, whenever one needs to sound like a guru of all things Twitter, Facebook, and FourSquare simply type into your browser and copy and paste as necessary.

You’re welcome.

Political Smarkets liven up the Labour leadership contest

Smarkets are doing their level best to liven up the Labour Party Leadership contest by running some attractive and dynamically loading online display advertising.

I’ve been amazed by the lack of creative content emerging from the candidates’ campaigns.  Direct mail and eCRM have been incredibly dry and policy centric.  Almost every candidate has issued a ‘join my campaign to stop [insert recent Tory policy]‘ piece of communication – such ‘campaigns’ are so incredibly cringeworthy, transparent and ineffective to party members that there really should be some sort of rule against them.

Candidates in this election have badly overlooked (and underinvested in) the power of creative political communication.  Not only is it a missed opportunity, it has made the (lengthy) election period incredibly stale and boring.