Author Archives: Benedict Pringle

Stonewall: No Bystanders

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.

My Tory Bingo: user generated versions

tory bingo get pissed proles you might as well Tory bingo cabinet

What does the Tory Party offer a white kid from brixton beer and bingo

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.

Very good.

Let’s play Tory Bingo

Tory Bingo tax and beer duty

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.

Quips include:

@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.

20140319-190425.jpg

The Conservative Party have released this ad attacking Ed Miliband’s response to the budget today.

It’s fairly straight and won’t set the internet on fire, but it’s a useful piece of content for helping to win the social media budget battle currently raging online.

We’ve all got budgets George

Labour poster budget 2014 we have all got budgets worse off with tories

The Labour Party have released a poster to coincide with the UK coalition government’s budget.

The poster shows a woman, vaguely resembling the Chancellor, standing outside a house numbered 11 holding a red shopping bag carrying the message “We’ve all got budgets George.”

Interestingly, the Labour Party have created a new word for the poster ‘hardworking’.* Or, perhaps the poster is only running in the little known town of Hardworking, a town where people only speak in Labour Party buzzwords and sound bites?  Considering the Party’s finances this is not completely ridiculous.

The poster is ok.  It makes sense (if you forgive the typo), it’s timely and contains an idea.

Can I see many people sharing it or journalists writing about it?  No.  It’s just not that interesting.

The battle lines for the UK general election 2015 are very clearly drawn and this poster clearly shows the Labour Party’s strategy: position Labour as the party for those still feeling the squeeze.  The challenge now is to produce some exciting creative that breathes air into that strategy and inspires supporters and undecided voters.  This execution doesn’t quite hit that mark.

*Update* I’ve been reliably informed by many, many people that ‘hardworking’ is not only a word but indeed the correct spelling of the adjective of hard-working. I should really check these things before mouthing off. Apologies to the copywriter, the account man and the client.

Yes Scotland Posters

Yes Scotland Poster what would you say to living in one of the worlds wealthiest nations

Yes Scotland heading for a better future poster children beach Yes scotland poster - dont let them tell us we cant

Over the last week the Yes Scotland campaign released a nationwide poster campaign.

The thing that excites me most about political posters is that the good ones tend to distil the key issues down to only a handful of words.

There’s no room for caveats or hedged bets.

With political posters you’re spending huge amounts of hard-earned campaign funds to get the chance to deliver the most compelling version of your argument that you can.

These posters convey the sense of optimism, hope and ambition that the Yes campaign is becoming famous for.  They don’t get bogged down in the details of policy; the posters make big, bold statements in simple, motivating language.

The final poster above, with the headline “don’t let them tell us we can’t”, is the one that nationalist advocates will doubtless have stuck in their windows and plastered on their Facebook wall.

Rumour has it that the Better Together campaign are currently in research with their first major advertising campaign.  As it is so often the case that those pushing for the status quo are in the business of selling fear, my bet is that they will be in a very different territory to this bonnie offering.

Politics used to make nudity interesting

Narendra Modi BJP india advert

 

Indian model Meghna Patel has posed almost completely nude for some political adverts supporting Narendra Modi in the upcoming Indian elections.

The official Modi campaign, despite the images going immediately viral, have quickly distanced themselves from the stunt saying that they “are not in support of such vulgar displays”.

It seems Patel, the Indian equivalent of a daytime TV presenter has shamelessly tried to capitalise on the biggest election the world has ever seen (over  814 million citizens are eligible to vote) to raise her own public profile.

The Guardian newspaper put it brilliantly by saying “it’s a rare story of politics being used to make nudity interesting”.

Labour Supporters Oscar Selfie

Labour supporters oscar selfie

 

At the Oscar ceremonies 2014 Ellen DeGeneres made social media history by tweeting the most retweeted image of all time – that has since been dubbed #oscarselfie – overtaking the previous record holder Barack Obama.

Keen to capitalise on the social media storm around the image, the UK Labour Party have released the number of supporters they have on record with names corresponding to celebrities featured in the image.  The copy that accompanied the image on Twitter appealed for Labour sympathisers to join the party ranks and particularly encouraged anyone called Channing.

It’s a nice piece of content that shows that the Labour Party can have a little fun.  Most people don’t want to sign up to a worthy, earnest organisation that takes itself too seriously, so this sort of thing is the perfect antidote to such negative perceptions.

If only Benedict Cumberbatch had spent less time photobombing U2  and more time using his sharp elbows to get into DeGeneres snap I might have been able to feature in the rankings.

(thanks to @ciaranward for bringing to my attention)

 

Hamish Pringle on celebrities and politics

Hamish pringle celebrity sells

At around 1pm today the listeners to BBC Radio Ulster’s programme ‘Talkback’ were graced by the special guest appearance of Hamish Pringle.

Hamish Pringle is the former Director General of The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, an advertising legend, author of popular business book ‘Celebrity Sells’ and Father to the author of this humble blog.

Following David Bowie’s “Scotland, stay with us” comment on last night’s Brit Awards, Pringle was invited on to the show to discuss the influence of celebrities on the outcomes of elections, public policy and referendum polls.

When asked whether it will have any impact on Scottish voters, Pringle was sceptical, commenting: “Sir Alex Ferguson is a veteran and very public Labour Party supporter, but I am not sure Manchester United fans take any notice of that fact when they go to the polls”.

Pringle went on to highlight that some celebrity endorsements seem to have the opposite effect, citing “The Curse of Eddie Izzard”: Izzard has publicly endorsed Britain joining the Euro, Ken Livingstone against Boris Johnson, Gordon Brown in 2010 and the ‘Yes’ vote in the 2011 AV Referendum, all of which have failed miserably.

Pringle stated that there were two important ways in which celebrities can be used to the benefit of political causes:

  1. Fundraising; he pointed to the extraordinary funds raised by Oprah Winfrey for Barrack Obama.
  2. Amplifying a core idea; he referenced Sarah Silverman’s involvement in ‘The Great Schlep’ where she helped deliver an idea rather than being the idea herself.

Sounds very sensible indeed.  He must read this blog more than he lets on.

Hamish is currently Strategic Advisor to agency 23 Red and is on the Council of the Advertising Standards Authority http://www.asa.org.uk