Author Archives: Benedict Pringle

Labour Party Election Broadcast 2014: The Un-credible Shrinking Man

The Labour Party have released a new party election broadcast in advance of the European and Local elections taking place on 22nd May.

The video, shot in black and white and filmed in the style of a Harry Enfield Cholmondley Warner sketch, is set around the Cabinet table and shows Nick Clegg being verbally beaten into submission – and physically shrinking – by a domineering David Cameron.

It’s very professionally put together, but the strategy and creative execution seems like a big mistake to me.

I think the tone is very sneering and slightly mean-spirited.  Obviously they’re trying to attribute those values to the Tories, but I think it’s backfired.  It feels like the Labour Party are being disdainful, arrogant and condescending towards Clegg and the Lib Dems.

The preposterous portrayal of the Conservative Party as old-fashioned toffs just doesn’t ring true.  Whilst lots of people will disagree with Tory policies, I don’t think many people will find the characterisation of the Tory’s in this video fair, funny or appropriate.

Class warfare doesn’t tend to play very well with the British electorate.  It certainly didn’t during the Crewe and Nantwich by-election in 2008 and I don’t think the public will have suddenly taken to it since.

The attack is not insightful, clever or particularly funny.  I’m amazed it got signed off by the famously conservative Labour Party command.  I would have thought the bit in the script where it says “we see a naked / miniature Nick Clegg chased down the Cabinet table by a cat” would have set off some alarm bells in the leadership’s heads.

I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if this gets pulled before long.

Better Together poster: best of both worlds

Better together - best of both worlds

 

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.

UKIP billboards for EU elections 2014

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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.

Green Party video on Europe

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: 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.