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.
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 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.
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)
Last week Facebook marked their 10th birthday by unveiling a new feature called “Look Back” that creates personalised videos highlighting users’ top content over the years.
Social media sites have been awash with people sharing their videos and, as is the way with anything that gains popular traction online, a series of parodies have followed. Today, the Labour Party released a “Look Back” video on behalf of David Cameron.
It’s well made and features all the policy u-turns, gaffs and ‘gates that one would expect. Well played to the team who pulled it together, it’s a nice mix of serious issues and cringe-worthy embarrassing moments.
They’ve slightly missed the moment – these parodies now feel like last week’s news – so it’s unlikely to have the same impact as it might have done 5 or 6 days ago. However, no doubt the rapid response team will have learnt something by going through the process and I’m sure turnaround and approval speeds will only improve from now until election day 2015.
In case there’s anyone left in Britain that hasn’t seen the Conservative Party’s ‘tax bombshell’ poster from 1992, or the numerous reworkings of it since, the Labour Party have kindly adapted it in time for the Autumn Statement.
That must have taken ages to come up with…
The Labour Party have released a very strong new video that attacks David Cameron and his governments management and reforms of the NHS.
It borrows from US-style attack ads in two ways:
1. The use of haunting, unsettling music combined with emphatic drum beats when key points are made.
2. Use of historical video footage of the subject of the attack making promises which is then interspersed with ‘facts’ which show the subject to have lied / failed / fallen short.
It’s great to see a British political party producing a piece of video content outside of election time that is coherent, single-minded and with decent production values.
I’m sure the Labour Party have realised in producing this piece of video that making quality content doesn’t have to be expensive. This film would not have required an external director, crew, cast, location permits, lights or cameras.
All that was needed was someone who can use a piece of video editing software and the hard work of one person to sift through the archives of footage and recordings of David Cameron to find relevant NHS commentary.
If I was the Labour Party I would use volunteers to find YouTube footage of David Cameron and George Osborne and ask them to download the files and note the time codes where they comment on areas of possible attack. Then, when the Party needs to quickly respond to something in the news agenda, the video editor has an existing archive of content which they can piece together and have published online in a matter of hours.
Labour have assembled the team that will lead the party into the 2015 general election.
Douglas Alexander MP has been made the chair of election strategy. Given that he was the General Election Co-Ordinator for Labour’s failed 2010 effort, some outsiders are surprised at his nomination. However, having served under both Brown and Blair he is seen as a more neutral choice than his predecessor Tom Watson.
And given the task – selling Gordon Brown to a nation weary from 13 years of Labour rule and in a deep recession – he must be congratulated for preventing the Tory’s from getting a majority.
Spencer Livermore becomes Campaign Director. His private sector experience is impressive; he set up and runs Thirty Six Strategy, Blue Rubicon’s strategy consulting arm and has previously been a senior strategist at both Saatchi & Saatchi and Fallon.
As well as that, for ten years from 1997, Spencer was a senior New Labour election strategist, as Director of Strategy to the UK Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street, and as Chief Strategy Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was a member of the election-winning campaign team in the General Elections of 1997, 2001 and 2005, and was listed by Philip Gould in The Unfinished Revolution as one of seven people who devised the strategy for the 2001 and 2005 General Elections.
Exciting times ahead for the guys in red.
Unite have released a poster which attacks the upper class hierarchy of the Coalition Government.
It was created by TBWA\London and is live on a digital billboard carrying van, which is being driven around Manchester during Conservative Party Conference.
The poster emulates the promotional material for ITV’s period drama ‘Downton Abbey’. The heads of the cabinet have been superimposed on the bodies of characters from the show.
Conservatives have taken the place of members of the Crawley family with the Liberal Democrats as their servants, with the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, as the head butler.
The end line “Please, no second series” is very clever, pleading with the people of Manchester to not award the government with another term
The Labour Party’s press team did a fantastic job yesterday of releasing content across social media before, during and after Ed Miliband’s conference speech.
The Party is getting better and better at amplifying these big set piece occasions. The quality of the creative materials also continues to improve.
The timely nature of the content distribution and the higher production values of the creative are two factors that increase the likelihood that supporters will share it.
It will be interesting to see if the Tories follow suit next week.