In January 2010 The Conservative Party released a poster, now referred to as Airbrush-gate, championing the NHS and promising a reduction in national debt. Labour supporters were quick to create a tool to spoof the poster. I asked the question ‘Will there be one of these tools for every political advert released this year?’ – thanks to mydavidcameron.com, the answer was a firm ‘yes’. The site caused the Conservative Party no-end of headaches and embarrasments in the early stages of the election.
9. Gordon’s doing sweet BA (M&C Saatchi)
In March, just over a month before polling day, there was real media momentum around the fact that the Labour Party were funded almost entirely by the very trade unions which the government couldn’t prevent from causing strike chaos.
This poster poked a light bit of fun at the Labour-Union link and delighted the Tory’s right wing.
8. Change We Choose (Labour Party)
The Labour Party didn’t do much positive communication, but this video really captured the spirit of the what supporters felt they were fighting for.
7. EMMA Trust (Team Saatchi)
Throughout the general election there was a constant fear that the BNP would win its first seat in the House of Commons; this poster was the stand-out piece of anti-fascist communication.
6. David Cameron Exposed
The 2nd most viral video of the 2010 general election.
5. The Common People
The most viral video of the 2010 general election.
4. This is what a hung parliament looks like (M&C Saatchi)
Such is the way of the British political media, new = good. It became more and more apparent to the electorate that a hung parliament was a distinct possibility and the media started treating it like a celebrity ‘will they / wont they’ romance. The Conservative Party wanted to try and quash any “I wonder what it would be like” sentiment with this witty and impactful poster.
3. Who did David Cameron meet next?
The Leaders TV debates were the single biggest communications factor in the 2010 generel election. This great website, which took the piss out the formulaic / box-ticking / cringe-worthy manner in which David Cameron answered questions, quickly shot to fame.
2. Step Outside Posh Boy
Ironically the best poster for the Labour Party throughout the general election was in fact an April fool’s day spoof by The Guardian newspaper. After the immense popularity of the poster, every adman in town claimed that “I told x from Labour HQ 6 months ago that that’s the strategy the party should adopt, but they just didn’t have the jaffas”.
1. Vote For Me (M&C Saatchi)
Following Airbrush-gate and a number of other advertising-related embarrasments, The Conservative Party brought M&C Saatchi – their ad agency prior to Euro RSCG – back into the fold.
Their first batch of posters oozed M&C’s methodology of ‘brutal simplicity’, made people sit up and realise that the campaign had got serious and put the Tories firmly back on the front foot.