Monthly Archives: January 2013

Labour poster: Dave’s economic medicine is hurting, but it isn’t working.

Labour poster economic medicine is hurting not working

An unofficial poster for the Labour Party has been released which attacks the Prime Minister’s economic policy.

The advert, featuring David Cameron as a doctor, attacks the Conservative Party leader for sticking with his economic ‘Plan A’, regardless of the fact that the UK is hurtling towards a triple dip recession.

Conservative Party Broadcast – January 2013

Early this week the Conservative Party aired their first party political broadcast of 2013.  As far as these things go, it’s a good one.

They’ve kept it very simple and made a single overarching point very well: ‘you may be under the impression – for whatever reason – that things are not moving in the right direction, but the (selected and likely contestable) facts show your preconceptions are mistaken; the Conservative-led coalition government is doing just fine’.

NRA advert: Protection For Obama’s Kids, Gun-Free Zones For Ours?

The National Rifle Association released an ad this week that accuses President Barack Obama of hypocrisy for opposing the NRA’s calls for armed guards in schools whilst at the same time sending his daughters to a school that employs gun-carrying security.

It’s a very clever piece of political strategy and a highly effective TV spot that seeks to re-frame the current public debate on gun-control.

The main thrust of the discussion on the issue thus far has been roughly “should the USA amend its current gun-control legislation?”.

By highlighting the fact that Obama’s children attend Sidwell Friends School, a selective Quaker private school, which pays for armed security to protects its pupils, the NRA have changed the frame of reference for the discussion to “is Obama a hypocrite? Why do his children get armed protection and mine don’t?”

If the NRA can change the terms of the narrative to being about whether or not schools should have armed guards, it will have succeeded.

By diversifying the discussion away from the black and white issue of ‘should the USA implement more restrictive legislation around gun control’ the NRA are successfully helping the media and the electorate forget about what started the whole debate: the brutal and inhumane killings that took place in Connecticut last month.

 

David Miliband references 1929 Equality of Sacrifice poster in House of Commons Speech

David Miliband Equality of sacrifice step down one rung

During yesterday’s House of Commons debate on Welfare Reform, in what was regarded by many as the best speech of the session, David Miliband referenced a poster the Labour Party ran in 1929 (above).

Conjuring up relevant imagery in political oratory is a very good tactic in the art of verbal persuasion and I’ve no doubt that Miliband’s  inclusion of this piece of historical communication helped lodge his contribution in the minds of the lobby correspondents.

Another smart thing about referencing a poster (or any image) in a speech is that it gives supporters something interesting to post on social networks to help spread the message.  The number of people who would post a link to a House of Commons speech (unless it’s one of clear seminal importance or contains something of absolute hilarity) to their social networks is fairly minimal.  However, punchy, political images are regular features of most peoples’ timelines.  Indeed the above image was doing the rounds last night.

Mentioning political adverts in speeches also helps get attention in mainstream media: journalists must tire of featuring footage and imagery of politicians standing at the despatch box or podium pleading their case.  By mentioning a poster or video it gives them an excuse to run the advert in their editorial, making it more likely to reach the eyeballs of those who would usually ignore features which review House of Commons debates.

If I was a speech writer I’d be busy researching relevant political imagery for my boss’s next big performance.

Labour vote to increase benefits by more than workers’ wages

Labour are voting to increase benefits by more than workers wages landscape

The Conservative Party have launched a new poster campaign on 6 sites across London to coincide with the House of Commons vote on benefits uprating that takes place today.

The poster starkly points out Labour’s contradictory stance of calling for a freeze on public sector wages, but not on benefit payments.

It’s not the most creative poster in the world, but it’s single-minded and makes a point that is likely to be salient with the majority of the population.

As Dan Hodges writes in The Telegraph:

“For the first time since the Budget, David Cameron is finally managing to get on the front foot on a major political issue. He has boxed Ed Miliband into a corner on both his welfare and public sector pay policies.”

Today seems like a significant victory for The Conservative Party and they’ve cleverly released a poster just to make sure everyone knows about it.

(Here’s the poster as a 6 sheet):

Labour are voting to increase benefits by more than workers wages

Dave and Nick Ltd: invoice to the British people

Dave and nick ltd - invoice to britain

 

This is the latest piece of content released by The Labour Party in their ‘Price of Tory Failure’ campaign which has been running across their social media channels since December.

This piece of communication is a real mess.  Is the point of it:

a) Tell people about the real impact of government cuts on peoples’ lives.

b) Show how, despite government cuts, public borrowing has still increased.

c) Communicate the social injustice of government tax and spending policy.

d) Highlight promises made in 2010 that have not been kept.

In fact, they have used the terminally dull creative vehicle of a modified invoice to try and make all 4 points.

This piece of content contains neither strategic clarity nor creative inspiration.

Given the Coalition Government yesterday released their midterm review there was a real opportunity for a series of hard-hitting attacks on the record of the Conservatives to be picked up by the mainstream media, but this doesn’t quite fit the bill…