Author Archives: Benedict Pringle

TUC demonstration 18th October – promotional poster

IMG_7888.JPG

The TUC have produced a brilliant retro-style poster promoting the March and rally being held in central London today to protest about wage inequality, the cost of living and earnings for the lease well off.

The poster evokes the trade union spirit that was portrayed in the recent movie box office hit Pride.

The visual language and copy is brilliantly righteous and compelling and gives the viewer a sense that the movement is on the side of the many.

It also presents the rally as something that will have a carnival, festival style atmosphere and not just another dry political event.

I’m not sure who produced it, but they could design my silk protest banner any day.

You can’t trust Nick Clegg

You cant trust Nick Clegg logo

You cant trust Clegg VAT bombshell

The Labour Party have released a line of attack against the Lib Dems and their leader Nick Clegg which I suspect will run until polling day in May next year.

The ‘You Can’t Trust Nick Clegg’ line is a classic piece of political attack against any opponent who has broken promises and the effectiveness of its deployment is usual dependent on how blatantly the party / politician in question has gone against their word.

In this case, the 5 word slogan lands as heavily as a cartoon grand piano that is dropped out of a 3rd storey window.

Four-step guide to shedding the nasty party image

The Labour Party have released a new video which suggests that David Cameron has failed in his project to modernise the Conservative Party and suggests 4 ways to make the Tory brand less toxic.

The video borrows various techniques from the US Democrat Rapid Response unit such as using:

- recordings made secretly at the opposition’s events

- interviews of minor opposition politicians being off-message as evidence against the mainstream of the party

- splicing small snippets of an opposition leader’s speech and using it in another context

- cartoon-style illustrations and a musical score reminiscent of a slapstick comedy

The attack lines used are on point and well structured.  The borrowed content and visual effects work well together.  The voice over and audio mix, however, sounds cheaply done and impacts the production value disproportionately.

Nevertheless, as this one is likely aimed at motivating party activists (hence the donation request at the conclusion) it’s pretty good.  The viewer is left dumbfounded about how David Cameron seems to have changed almost nothing about the party he inherited from Michael Howard in 2005.

The Tories: for a privileged few

IMG_7833.PNG

IMG_7835.PNG

IMG_7834.PNG

The focus of the Labour Party’s communication activity has now pivoted from defence against UKIP to attack on the old foe that is the Conservative Party.

The lines of attack are now familiar and will become more so as we move ever closer towards polling day in May next year.

What is new is that Labour have created a brand logo for their attack. Creating a singular visual point of consistency which encapsulates the values of an organisation and lodges itself into the minds of an audience is hardly a new practice, but it’s fairly unusual to create one for an opponent.

It seems like a smart move to me and it will be interesting to see if it’s something that lasts beyond conference season.

Political Marketing in the USA

political marketing in the united states jennifer lees marshment

political marketing matrix jennifer lees marshment

A new book on political marketing, with a focus on the USA, edited by Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Brian Conley and Kenneth Cosgrave has been released.  It’s available to purchase here

The book first underlines the importance of marketing to almost every facet of politics before providing in depth analysis of practically every aspect, including: voter targeting, database management, social media practice, celebrity endorsement, fundraising, branding and advertising.

As well as codifying a vocabulary for discussing the discipline, the authors have also created a particularly useful matrix (featured above) which outlines all the political marketing activity that a campaign can and should undertake.

Many successful political operators have a good natural instinct for political marketing activity or through experience have picked up that many of the methods are crucial to success.  But I wonder how many political campaigns have a singular marketing chief who has these tasks written into their job description.

If I was running a political campaign, the authors’ political marketing matrix would be the ongoing basis for my ‘to do’ list and the blueprint for structuring my organisation.

UKIP: More Tory than the Tories

IMG_7818-0.JPG

IMG_7816-0.JPG

IMG_7819-0.PNG

IMG_7817-0.JPG

The Labour Party’s line of attack against UKIP during their conference in Doncaster is “UKIP: more Tory than the Tories”.

The aim of the communications is to remind people in Labour’s heartlands who have a deep and visceral aversion to the Conservative Party that a flirtation with UKIP is tantamount to getting into bed with Margaret Thatcher.

These ads are aimed squarely at the working class in the midlands and north who might be tickled by Farage’s brand of anti-elitism and pub populism.

I’m not a fan of the strap line – it just reads like it’s been written by a Labour spokesperson. It’s void of humanity and is not the language of everyday speech.

The strategy, however, is sound enough.

A selection of recent Yes! campaign materials

Yes scotland poster one opportunity

yes scotland future in our hands

Yes Scotland poster advert - only yes guarantees power

yes scotland once in a lifetime  yes scotland top 20 wealthiest countries

Yes scotland - rebuttal of devo max  Yes scotland - labour as tory front men

Yes scotland tories rebelling over devo max  Yes scotland - wealth, talent and indepedence

Yes Scotland - days to remember  Yes scotland - pension rebuttal

The quality and variation of the Yes! campaign’s campaigning materials, adverts and posters has been far superior to that of the Better Together campaign throughout the referendum period.

The Yes! campaign brief of ‘sell anger towards a Tory-led coalition and hope for the future of an independent Scotland’ is a more creatively fertile proposition than that of Better Together’s ‘sell the fear of break-up and the maintenance of the status quo’.

Nevertheless, it’s one thing to have a great brief and quite another to deliver against it as thoroughly as they have.  If it was down to the campaigning materials alone, the Yes! campaign would be starting the victory party already.