Monthly Archives: March 2012

George Osborne – Dont Stop Me Now

The left-wing campaign organisation Common People, who are behind both Sack Boris 2012 and the most viral video of the 2010 general election, have launched a video attacking George Osborne to theme of Queens’ Dont Stop Me Now.

Whilst it is vaguely amusing, the assault is so aggressive (and personal) that the resulting sentiment of the viewer is “these guys really hate George Osborne”.  I would guess that the aim of the piece was to get people thinking “George Osborne is a bad Chancellor”, but I’m not sure that this will be the prevailing take-out.

For people who don’t like Osbourne (and posh people generally), this will certainly appeal.  But, because of the tilt of the balance away from comedy and towards vitriol, I doubt it will be as popular as their previous offering.

Ken offers £1000 off TfL fares

Ken’s campaign launched a ‘travel voucher’ for distribution to the electorate.  As Ken explained at a press conference this morning:

‘Today I am launching my ‘London Travel Voucher’. I am saying to Londoners – keep hold of this voucher so that you have physical evidence of my promise to cut your fares. The voucher will be available online from today, but will only be valid if I am elected as Mayor on 3 May. Londoners who want to save £1,000 need to use their vote to cut fares.’

It’s not the most beautiful piece of communication, but in fare-ness (sorry) not many vouchers win awards for their creativity.

Ken’s campaign are really putting all of their eggs in the Fare Deal basket.  Their polling must show that it’s paying off.  Either that, or they havent got anything else up their sleeves.

Santorum’s Subliminal Messaging – Sworn American Enemy

Watch the above advert ‘Obamaville’ by Rick Santorum’s campaign all the way through… Did you see it??

If not, watch this:

Santorum’s campaign have been caught using subliminal techniques in their advertising to try to build a cognitive connection between US President Barak Obama with the President and dictator of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This really is an all new low for political advertising, the Santorum candidacy and the Republican Party.  It’s so morally bankrupt that it’s almost comical.

Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up

And so it begins.  Romney is pillared for being a flip-flop in this absolutely brilliant piece of 3rd party, viral, populist attack advertising.

As Mitt Romney’s campaign gets closer to dragging their candidate over the finish line and claiming the Republican Presidential nomination, the Obama-supporting creative industries have plunged their first knife into the campaign’s calf muscle.

Newt Gingrich’s team will be saying “hate to say it, but we told you so…

Boris isn’t working poster campaign

Sack Boris 2012 are trying to raise funds to run an advertising campaign to promote their cause in advance of the London Mayoral elections in May.

They’ve posted scamps of the two posters that they intend to create and run.  They both pay homage to Saatchi & Saatchi’s Labour Isn’t Working poster that set (and continues to maintain) the bar for political advertising.

Whilst adverts that are pastiches, imitations or pistakes of prior campaigns can never live up to the originals, I would nevertheless love to see these posters get made for real.

These two iterations are directly relevant to issues that are live in the election race and the visual and linguistic mechanic of the original hasn’t been stretched too far.

Is Boris Working?

Hypernaked have created an amusing new microsite for the ‘Sack Boris’ campaign called ‘Is Boris Working?‘.  It’s based on a popular online meme, which in this instance involves users being given various amusing negative responses to the question “Is Boris Working?”.

It seems to have got a good amount of traction online and is the sort of thing that non-politico, floating voters would engage with.

It just goes to show that online political advertising doesn’t have to break moulds or be particularly clever to work; if it’s funny, people will pass it round.

Better off with…?

Guido Fawkes yesterday pointed out the similarities between the logo that Boris released yesterday and the branding device subsequently pushed out by Ken’s team.  Guido describes the story:

Boris launched his new “Better Off With Boris” logo with it adorning his Progress Report at Mayors Question Time this morning. Ken copied it with a “Better of with Ken” logo which looks remarkably similar. Alas Team Ken in their hurry to cobble it  together forgot to register BetterOffWithKen.com.which now links to the NotKenAgain.com website. 

As Boris Backer has pointed out, Ken’s logo looks like the work of an intern using MS Paint; Ken’s marketing team seem to have given up on any level of quality control and seem to be happy that their candidate comes across as a (low quality) student union hopeful.

The only thing of note with regards to the Battle of the Badges is that neither candidate includes any reference or nod to their party.  This should be applauded.  Both candidates realise that their political party has relatively little to do with this election and have kept it single-minded.

Political strategy event featuring Alastair Campbell

I’m helping organise an event which I thought might be relevant to readers with an interest in political strategy – which is presumably all of you who haven’t arrived here via an image search for “funny David Cameron face”.

It’s called ‘Worlds Collide’ and it is designed to inspire attendees to come up with better, more convincing and more successful strategies.  Here’s the blurb:

On the afternoon of Wednesday 2nd May the worlds of politics, the military, advertising, activism and sport will collide when Alastair Campbell, General Sir Mike Jackson, David Droga and Jeremy Gilley  go head to head to convince the audience that their strategic approach is the winning one.

They will all answer a single brief: what do you do to win, when you can’t afford to lose?

The purpose of this event is to demonstrate that whilst strategic thinking is about being focused, honing in on and refining a problem, it’s also about being able to see a problem in a new or different way.

Chaired by Rory Sutherland, it’s the unmissable strategy event of the year.

During the course of the afternoon you’ll listen to each guest speaker and then vote on whose strategic approach you think is the most convincing.

Worlds Collide will make you think – and force you to question your assumptions - but you’ll go away with a head full of new ideas and inspiration to re-shape your own strategic thinking.

Details about how to reserve your place are below.

- – -

Date and time: Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 2pm to 5pm, drinks afterwards.

Venue: Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX

Price: £100+vat for APG members. £200+vat for non-members (which includes APG membership for a year).

Booking:  email steve@apg.org.uk  Please say whether firm or provisional booking and give name, job title and email of each delegate.

Steve Pound MP features in new Ken Livingstone Fare Deal video

Ken Livingstone’s campaign have released a comically bad video to support their Fare Deal policy pledge.

The film features Steve Pound MP, dressed up as a professor, explaining how Ken’s fares policy is viable.

Have they used a campaign staffer’s desk lamp as the lighting rig?  Is it filmed in some mouldy town hall’s meeting room? And did they buy Pound’s outfit from Ann Summers?

Pound’s performance is so awkward, the production values of the video are so awful and the sound effects are so atrocious, that the viewer will not absorb any of the message.  Making this video was a complete waste of campaign resource and energy (even if it only took an hour, which it won’t have).

This film is a damning indictment of the state of British political marketing.  It’s cheap, it’s badly thought through and it’s nasty.

The only chance this video has of getting views is if people send it round as something to laugh at.

Yes Ken Again

Ken’s team have released a response to the Not Ken Again poster campaign.  It feels like a bit of a damp squib of a retort.

What they’ve failed to realise is that the overall look and feel of the posters are negative in sentiment.  Almost regardless of what the copy says, the art direction creates an adverse emotion against Ken.

To quote my / your / our ex-girlfriend(s), “it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it”.