The Better Together campaign in Scotland have this week released the above billboard.
Having received widespread criticism for running a negative campaign, Better Together have clearly decided that some positive posters are the order of the day.
I think this is a mistake.
It is the role of challengers to sell anger about the status quo – something which the Yes campaign have been doing to no small degree, albeit occasionally blended with messaging around hope.
However, it is the role of the incumbent to sell fear of change. If they fancy sticking some ‘there’s still so much to do’ in there for good measure, fine. But the fear should be non-negotiable.
Better Together should not allow themselves to be put off course by the Yes campaign’s complaints about the tone of their campaign. When polling day comes, it will not be vanilla, forgettable copy and imagery like the above which will make the electorate think twice about putting a cross in the ‘yes’ box.
The Economist newspaper published today has an article on political advertising that is worth a read.
And in case you don’t make it all the way through, I’ve kindly pulled out the key quotation above.
Don’t mention it.
UKIP have released a new batch of billboards in advance of the upcoming EU elections.
The posters are the most polished and creatively driven that the party have ever produced. This, combined with their punchy, straight talking tone has meant that the adverts have already generated a huge amount of press interest.
They use the slogan ‘take back control of our country’ and, amongst other things, highlight the fact that 75% of British laws are made in Brussels and that UK taxpayers fund the ‘celebrity lifestyle’ of EU bureaucrats.
The party has taken aim at the huge number of people who feel alienated by Westminster politics and who would sign up to a “common sense” approach.
The fact that their content will annoy the liberal political elite is testament to their likely success.
The posters are funded by millionaire Mr Sykes who has pledged a blank cheque to UKIP leader Nigel Farage to try and win the upcoming election.
The Green Party released this video last week to coincide with EU debates between UKIP’s Nigel Farage (pronounced like ‘garage’ with an f) and the Lib Dem’s Nick Clegg MP.
It’s very long. So, so long.
Something’s got to be intensely interesting to keep your attention on YouTube for over 3 minutes and I’m afraid this doesn’t quite cut it. There’s some funny moments, but I bet any vaguely normal person would have closed the window before the Green Party spokesman appeared.
The party win points for timeliness, but get a slapped wrist for overindulging themselves.
Stonewall, a campaign for equality and justice for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, has released a video called ‘No Bystanders’.
The film demonstrates that, unchecked, the abusive language children learn in the playground stays with them into adulthood. It encourages people – including gay people – to check their own language, and pledge not to be a bystander whenever they hear it from others.
A simple idea, nicely executed.
The #torybingo Twitter storm continues today, having dominated discussion around yesterday’s budget from around 9pm last night. Activists with image manipulation skills are now adding further fuel to the piss-taking by producing their own related imagery.
There is a tumblr account logging many of the posts and countless more plastered across social networks.
The three above are my personal favourites. One is a pastiche of the original poster but instead carries the headline “Get pissed, proles. You might as well, your zero hour contracts give you plenty of spare time”. Another shows David Cameron’s coalition cabinet as a bingo arena. And the final one is a parody of a poster from John Major’s Conservative Party leadership which appealed to working class voters.
The Conservative Party today released an advert drawing attention to changes to beer and bingo taxes in the Budget.
The advert features a big gaudy headline of ‘Bingo’ and celebrates the 1p cut in beer duty and the halving of bingo duty to 10% with the subhead “to help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy”.
I mean, yeah, it’s quite condescending.
Ok, ok, it’s pretty much the most patronising, ill-conceived and embarrassing political advert I’ve ever seen.
Unsurprisingly, #torybingo took off on Twitter and has been trending nationally for some time now.
@RedAndy54: Shoot badgers for fun, 21 #torybingo
@minigong: Full of hate, 38 #torybingo
@ed_son: House. And another house. And another. And another with a moat. #torybingo
Any Tory with half a brain and a sprinkling of self-awareness would have realised this was a nightmarish, terrible and suicidal idea. I simply can’t believe it was run.