Stronger In attack ad: there will be pain

Stronger In - attack ad there will be pain

The Stronger In campaign have released a new ad which attacks those campaigning to leave the EU for – what they perceive to be – a blasé attitude towards the messy aftermath of Brexit.

The colour-scheme for the spot is distinctly UKIP.  You can read more about why that is in my article for the New Statesman on political bogeymen.

The style of the video is very similar to rebuttal and attack ads that we’re used to seeing in US-politics.  Features of this style include:

  • Using your opponents’ own words against them
  • Relentless repetition of key messaging
  • Grainy ‘secret recording’ style footage to imply malice

It’s very well put together and from the number of view it has already garnered on YouTube I suspect that they’ve put some paid media support behind it.

This combination of tight strategy, sharp messaging, polished creative and sensible media investment is very impressive.  If I were backing ‘leave’ at this stage, I’d be getting a bit worried.

The EU referendum campaign: selling fear

EU referendum benedict pringle campaign magazine

As Donald Tusk has just released his draft settlement and it looks increasingly certain that the EU referendum will take place in June, I thought it might be timely to look forwards to what the referendum campaigns might hold.

All the signals so far suggest that we are going to be faced with the highly unusual situation where both sides try to conjure up dystopian visions about what Britain’s future might look like if they don’t get their way.

You can read the full article on Campaign live.

Election campaigning: how to spend it

Benedict Pringle article in Campaign how to spend it

On Wednesday this week the Electoral Commission published the details of money spent by political parties on General Election 2015.  I’ve written an article analysing the relative merits of their expenditure for advertising industry trade magazine Campaign, which you can read here.

Alan Johnson launches Labour In For Britain

The Labour Party have released a new video promoting their Labour In For Britain campaign around the EU referendum.

Alan Johnson, leader of the Labour In campaign, tells a personal story of how he made his decision to vote ‘In’ in the 1975 referendum.  Telling a personal story is a nice way to make a connection with an audience and in that respect it’s a persuasive piece of communication.

The motion graphics used for the visuals are fairly well done, but it’s no substitute for an actual idea.  At points the animations are slightly distracting from the storytelling, instead of reinforcing it.

It would have been fun to have seen Alan Johnson walking through the decades since 1975, Hovis-style,  or to have used the lens of the 1970’s to deliver a more memorable and entertaining film.


Vote Leave Campaign Launches

Vote Leave EU logo

A very significant anti-European campaign group launched last week.  It has cross party support, including Labour, Conservative, Green and UKIP politicians.

The group, headed by Matthew Elliott who ran the successful No2AV campaign against electoral reform, is competing to be crowned the official “Out” campaign by the Electoral Commission.  Such recognition comes with public grants and expenditure allowances.

The Vote Leave brand is in stark contrast to, the group against which they’re competing for the prize.  Whilst – supported by Nigel Farage and mainstream UKippers – gives the impression that it’s filled with angry, stuff, reactionary old men, Vote Leave seems relatively contemporary and accessible.

Positioning leaving the EU as ‘taking control’ is smart.  No doubt polling shows that the majority of people feel like we live in very uncertain times – currency doubts, immigration, deflation, Russian aggression etc… Vote Leave will want persuade people that by leaving the EU, Britain can take matters into its own hands and not be at the mercy of other countries.

Liz Kendall evokes Clement Attlee

Liz Kendall Fresh Start Clement Attlee

Liz Kendall’s campaign for Labour’s leadership have produced a very good graphic on the eve of members receiving their ballot papers.

The advert neatly encapsulates the main point of her campaign: that the real test of our Labour values isn’t just good intentions in opposition – it’s what can be delivered in government after you’ve won a general election.

There’s been relatively few examples of creativity in the the Labour Leadership 2015 campaign, so this is a real breath of FRESH air.