Author Archives: Benedict Pringle

The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind – new Better Together referendum broadcast

Sorry mate, don’t mean to embarrass you, but…er… your strategy is showing

The Better Together campaign have released a referendum broadcast that tries to appeal to undecided female voters.

It features a mother talking to the camera about her concerns for an independent Scotland: the security of Scotland’s oil supply, funding for education, the way “there’s only so many hours in the day and there’s so much to weigh up”.

The script wreaks of inauthenticity – it lists every single Better Together line of attack without breath.   It’s so obviously aimed at undecided female voters that it feels terribly awkward.  If the average viewer’s initial reaction to seeing your comms is “ah, I can see what you’re doing there pal” rather than some level of emotional gut response, you’ve completely ballsed it up.

And the characterisation is fairly patronising – the lead woman is mainly concerned about household tasks and complains that it’s her husband who cares about politics.  It’s this latter element that has led to something of a twitter storm using #PatronisingBTLady

H/T to @frances_ryan for sending

The Worst Political Slogan Ever

Benedict Pringle:

Guido has caught the Labour Party communicating using the most cringe-worthy political clichés and empty phraseology. Guido’s analysis of Labour’s recent copy-writing is very amusing indeed.

Originally posted on Guy Fawkes' blog:

Labour’s slogan for the summer really runs off the tongue:

“The Choice – The Labour future / The Tory threat”.

Of its eight words, three of them are “the”. Catchy.

Worse still, the party has now deleted a tweet plugging another new slogan to accompany Ed Balls’s speech on the economy:

“A choice between a Labour plan to make Britain better off and fairer for the future or more of the same from the same old Tories.”

Tough on punctuation, tough on the causes of punctuation. 

Could they have come up with anything clunkier than “make Britain better off and fairer”? It has a grand total of 2 ‘a’s, 3 ‘the’s, 2 ‘same’s, an ‘of’, an ‘off’, a ‘for’, a ‘to’ and a ‘from’. It is supposed to clarify “the choice” between Labour and the Tories, yet you have to read it three times before you can work out where…

View original 18 more words

Israel Defense Forces social media content

Israel political communication social media

Israel political communication social media hamas quote

Israel political communication social media ceasefire

The Israel Defense Forces have been running a Facebook page since 2011.  During the most recent and ongoing conflict the IDF have been posting creative content communicating updates about their operations and justifying their actions.

The objective of the communications is to get people both inside and outside the reason to understand their response and make sure that their case is being made in the battle on the airwaves.

It’s very well put together and is an interesting example of contemporary propaganda.

Thanks to  for alerting me to it.

Let’s Stay Together

Today sees the launch of a UK-wide campaign called Let’s Stay Together which aims to give a voice to everyone who doesn’t have a vote in the decision to break up Britain, but wants to try to influence the vote in favour of Union.

The campaign’s aim is to get pro-union people from across the UK, who don’t have a vote in the referendum, to publicly state online, and maybe even in real life, that “Scotland is part of our UK family and I want us to stay together”.

The launch piece of content uses Queen’s ‘You’re My Best Friend’ as a soundtrack and features celebrities from all over the UK including: Tanni Grey-Thompson,  Eddie Izzard, Ross Kemp, Ian Rush, June Sarpong, Dan Snow, Susannah Constantine and Trinny Woodall.

The video is wonderfully upbeat and is markedly different in tone from much of the Better Together campaign.

The video and wider campaign cleverly gives license for people from across the whole of the UK to have their say in the referendum.  It is carefully respectful of the fact that it is the right of the Scots to decide whether to remain in the union.  But the video will give confidence to those who might have worried about articulating their positive feelings about the UK to speak out and let Scotland know that they do care about the future of the country and want the jocks as part of it.

And whilst I’m at it, I may as well compliment them on their snazzy logo, very nice:

lets stay together Britain scotland logo

LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome by Greenpeace

Greenpeace have released a film attacking Lego’s partnership with Shell; the toymaker distributes its toys at Shell’s petrol stations.

Created by London-based creative agency Don’t Panic, the film features Lego characters, animals and uses a reported 120kg of Lego brick to depict an oil-stricken, polluted and decayed Arctic.

The film is part of a wider Greenpeace strategy to put pressure on big corporate companies to publicly sever their ties with Shell in order generate awareness around the oil producer’s supposed moral and environmental indiscretions.  The issue in question in this film is Shell’s ambitions to drill for oil in the Arctic.

The film is beautifully crafted.  There is an incredible amount of attention to detail and the way the camera pours over the set creates a real sense of life in the characters which in turn generates greater emotion amongst the viewer.

The film has already gone viral and Shell and Lego’s attempts to get the film taken down have added further fuel to the fire.

 

Kids Company – See the child, change the system

Kids Company, the charity for vulnerable children, have started a campaign that is overtly political in nature, as opposed to their usual fundraising and awareness-driving activity.

The ad features a voice-over by a child who talks about where she lives and plays, accompanied by slum-like images and powerfully makes the point that politicians aren’t doing enough to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

The sense the viewer gets is that there is a never-ending cycle of cruelty and neglect amongst parts of the child population.  The film is designed to stimulate a strong sense of injustice and I can imagine it will provoke the desired reaction of getting people signing the petition.

Once people have signed the petition they are encouraged to upload a photo of themselves as a child to Facebook and share the campaign.  This is a nice viral hook, playing brilliantly to peoples vanity, and should help spread the message further.

The campaign is running in cinema, online, radio, social media, outdoor and press.

ISIS recruitment video – There is No Life Without Jihad

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have released a video promoting their (as yet unrecognised) state and militant organisation.

The 13-minute long video is professionally shot and edited, and shows a group of young men – including those from Britain and Australia – holding weapons and reciting militant Islamist slogans and passages from the Qur’an.

The aim of the video is to encourage young, western Muslims to travel to Iraq and Syria and become part of their jihad (struggle).

The creative strategy for persuading potential recruits is to portray members of the militia as relatively normal people who the audience could associate themselves with.

The setting for the majority of the video is a verdant, thriving and bright forest; this is to imply that the environment recruits could look forward to would be comfortable and relaxed.  Occasionally there is footage showing groups of young men, often in balaclavas toting machine guns and seemingly having a good time; the sense of camaraderie and solidarity will no doubt appeal to the audience.

The video is however very long indeed and there isn’t enough interesting things happening or being said to justify this duration.  The speeches often seem slightly confused, incoherent and are not particularly inspiring.

Nevertheless, I suspect the mere fact that the organisation has produced a professional looking video that speaks directly to the small group of people who were considering making the very dangerous trip will be inspiration enough for the potential recruits.