Regular readers will know that, despite the huge number of permutations, there are only really two election campaign slogans:
1) The Opposition Slogan: Time for a change
2) The Incumbent Slogan: We’re doing ok, don’t let them ruin it
Coming up with the most appropriate and most powerful phrasing of one of these two slogans is not easy, but nevertheless, 99% of all election slogans will fit into one of these two categories.
Obama has, sensibly, not tried to reinvent the wheel and has instead obviously spent some time coming up with his take on The Incumbent slogan.
‘Forward’ works very well.
It’s a neat distillation of The Incumbent’s campaign. It’s broad enough to sit over the vast array of policy positions he will take. It’s simple enough for people to grasp. It gives his whole campaign a sense of purpose and momentum. And, crucially, he’s able to use his Obama ‘O’ logo as one of the letters of the slogan.
‘Forward’ also tacitly insinuates that his opponent, Mitt Romney, is ‘Backward’. Though the Republicans have tried to devalue the slogan – “Forward and straight of a cliff, more like, *chuckle chuckle*” – but the reality of it is that the phrase is quite hard to appropriate for piss-taking.
‘Forward’ feels like a natural and sensible progression from his 2008 slogan ‘Hope’ and I would guess that his advocates will be equally eager to adopt it and use it for their own 3rd party promotional materials; an element of the campaign which was essential to Obama’s success in ’08.
And so it begins. Romney is pillared for being a flip-flop in this absolutely brilliant piece of 3rd party, viral, populist attack advertising.
As Mitt Romney’s campaign gets closer to dragging their candidate over the finish line and claiming the Republican Presidential nomination, the Obama-supporting creative industries have plunged their first knife into the campaign’s calf muscle.
Newt Gingrich’s team will be saying “hate to say it, but we told you so…“
On 15th March Barack Obama’s campaign are releasing a movie, directed by the Academy Award winning director of An Inconvenient Truth, about the President’s first term in office. Seriously. Above is the trailer, narrated by Tom Hanks.
This feels like massive hubris.
I will refrain detailed comment until the film is out, but from the trailer, it seems like this will play into the hands of those who detract Obama for courting celebrity, being obsessed with his own legacy and ignoring the feelings of the electorate.
This is the first bit of quality political memorabilia that I’ve seen for the 2012 election. For just under $20 you can purchase yourself some Mitt Flopps, which are…:
“…open-toe thong sandals designed to make sure you can feel the shifting political winds. Is the climate feeling conservative? Stand on your right foot. Looking liberal out there? Stand on your left foot. With Mitt-Flops, your footwear will be popular in any political climate.”
(thanks to Tom Thake for sending).
Here’s a nice little voter-generated ad that’s doing the rounds on social networks together. The image highlights the difference between the way in which Obama and Romney treat blue collar / service workers: Romney is pictured getting his shoes shined, whilst Obama gives a cleaner a fist bump.
It’s interesting to see that Romney’s personal wealth is quickly becoming a real sweet spot for attack. It seems so un-American to attack someone for business success, but clearly things like the Wall St Crash and the Occupy movement have fundamentally altered the middle ground of politics.
It’s here! Obama’s first advert of the 2012 election.
It’s not exactly the awe-inspiring, lump-in-your-throat manifesto that some might have hoped for. Indeed, it’s a piece of rebuttal against a recent advert, paid for by Republic SuperPac ‘Americans for Prosperity’, that criticises Obama for ‘pay-to-play’ politics and cronyism.
The advert defends Obama’s record on energy, describes the attacks as “not tethered to the facts” and holds the President’s ethics whilst in office to be “unprecedented”.
It’s not a great ad. They’ve tried to fit an awful lot into the 30 seconds, meaning that it is rushed and feels overly defensive.
Starting your campaign on the back-foot is a very strange decision. Yes, the Republican SuperPac have spent a reported $6 million on their campaign, but Team Obama could have easily dealt with the attacks indirectly in a much more positive and confident way.
A shaky start.
(thanks @benven for sending)
Yesterday Jon Huntsman dropped out of the Republican primary contest and endorsed Mitt Romney. On the very same day the The Democratic National Committee released this advert reminding people of some of the negative things that the former Utah governor had to say about the front-running Presidential hopeful.
Romney was the primary target of Huntsman’s attacks during his campaign, so the endorsement might seem strange. However, as Romney is the only remaining moderate, the backing is unsurprising – as the fact that the DNC have had this video made and ready to go illustrates.
There’s some pretty damning quotations in the advert – “I don’t know that he can go on to beat President Obama” being a particular highlight – that no doubt floating voters will be regularly reminded of from now until polling day.