Four-step guide to shedding the nasty party image

The Labour Party have released a new video which borrows various techniques from the US Democrat Rapid Response unit, including:

– recordings made secretly at the opposition’s events

– interviews of minor opposition politicians being off-message as evidence against the mainstream of the party

– splicing small snippets of an opposition leader’s speech and using it in another context

– cartoon-style illustrations and a musical score reminiscent of a slapstick comedy

The attack lines used are on point and well structured.  The borrowed content and visual effects work well together.  The voice over and audio mix, however, sounds cheaply done and impacts the production value disproportionately.

Nevertheless, as this one is likely aimed at motivating party activists (hence the donation request at the conclusion) it’s pretty good.  The viewer is left dumbfounded about how David Cameron seems to have changed almost nothing about the party he inherited from Michael Howard.

David Miliband’s Leadership Video

David Miliband has released a video to try and woo the Labour Party membership to support his campaign.  He makes education the focus of the video and manages to strike the balance between intellect and ‘man-of-the-people’ perfectly.

The sound bite “we are all equal on polling day” and pointing out the party will have to come back together once the leadership battle is over, were both highlights for me; the name-checking of Obama and the Kennedy ‘drop a pebble in a pond’ quotation were lows.

I imagine his detractors would have felt that the musical score and ‘looking to the horizon’ end frame was over-the-top, but for the less cynical it would have probably achieved the emotional connection that was desired.

Labour Party Manifesto Video

The Labour Party have released some animated videos to accompany their manifesto.  They’re very cute and convey the policy messages simply, yet without being patronising or irritating.  Not easy to do. 

Granted, it’s not the most exciting thing in the world to watch.  However, one of the key metrics that brands and political parties alike strive to perform well in during market research is “this brand / party is meant for people like me”. 

This communication has the sort of universal appeal that gets lots of people ticking that box.

Labour Party Poster Competition

The Labour Party’s ‘create our next ad’ competition has now closed.  The winner is to be revealed on the weekend, but they have posted a few of their favourites on their homepage for now.

There were over 1000 entries and it seems like the quality is very high.  I’m quite chuffed that they are featuring one of my submissions (above) as one of their favourites.  I’m not sure that it’s strategically very strong and I wish I had time to shoot some shoes as oppose to grabbing what I could find online. 

The hypocrisy of someone called Benedict who works in advertising accusing someone else of having had a privileged upbringing also can’t go without apology.

I’ll post the winner along with the rest of my scamps next week.

Labour Party Poster Competition

Saatchi&Saatchi's example to inspire wanna-be ad makers

Labour has called on its online supporters to lend their creative talents to designing the party’s next campaign poster.  Campaign chiefs have booked digital poster boards next weekend in London and Manchester that will carry the artwork.  Users can upload their poster on the Labour Party site, although it doesn’t state how the winner will be chosen.

Labour have obviously taken heart from the repeated ridicule that has met the Tories’ advertising efforts and decided to put their faith on their supporters skill and wit.  Many brands have put their advertising into the hands of consumers, Doritos are currently running a masterclass in how to do so with their King of Ads competition, but this is the first time a political party has tried to harness the power of the crowd for a poster campaign.

Saatchi & Saatchi, Labour’s ad agency, have provided their supporters with two different briefs to highlight the sort of material they are looking for: 1) Labour’s pledge to protect frontline services and 2) David Cameron’s lack of substance.  The ad agency’s attempt at inspiration is above.

Change we choose

I’ve just been sent this promo that the Labour Party put out about a month ago.  It’s good.  Stylish, inspirational and backed up with hard policy (whether or not you agree with the assertions). 

The Labour Party have been using the ‘change we see’ slogan for a while (there’s even a website for the broader campaign) and I’ve always felt it to be a really strong message.  It aggressively encroaches on the opposition’s assumed territory of ‘change’ and uses it to both undermine their proclamations of a ‘new tomorrow’ and underline the incumbent’s record of delivery. 

It hasn’t yet, I don’t think, been used in a party political broadcast or a billboard and seems thus far to have been used more to galvanise supporters internally.  I’m sure the party has tested it on focus groups as a core election message, but I’d be astounded if it doesn’t resonate with waivering Labour Party supporters.