There’s rumours circulating that the above film ‘Against the odds’ could be used as a party political broadcast in the next election. Sentimentality has been used to great effect recently by brands like Hovis, Sainsbury’s and Heinz, so The Labour Party would be in the company of some of the nations most successful marketeers if it did so.
Whether it’s choosing the supermarket where you buy the beans to go on your toast, or electing a government, getting people to change their mind from their default position is incredibly difficult to do. Reminding people of the decisions they have made in the past can be a very effective method of getting them to do the same thing in the future.
Labour, in the above spot, is playing to one of the strengths that an incumbent party has – defense of the status quo – whilst at the same time presenting itself as a radical, forward-facing organisation. Very smart.
The Labour Party have released an advert highlighting their action on lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-gendered (LGBT) rights and seeded it on the Pink Paper. I’ve never seen a LGBT specific piece of political advertising before in the UK by a mainstream political party, though I’m sure there has been. This is a really nice, positive video that beats the pants off anything else that the Labour Party have produced for the EU elections. Great stuff.
A classic ‘real people’ broadcast. It communicates their 2 messages, clearly and simply – 1) vote Green for European investment in our economy 2) Vote Green to help save the planet, for the sake of your kids.
It starts off quite slowly, but the emotional climax is brilliantly done. A nice music score and the light, pleasant, unimposing tone of the people featured in the video make it highly likely to evoke the reaction ‘this party understand my concerns’ and ‘this is a political party for me’ from floating middle-class voters who are disenchated with the more established parties.
On the basis of this broadcast, I wouldn’t be surprised if The Green Party do well in Ireland next week.
The take-away message of ‘you can’t cut your way out of a recession, you have to grow your way out’ was completely muddled by the sheer amount of stock-looking footage (the most often repeated and worst sin of party political broadcasts) and policy name-checks.
Don’t get me wrong, I get that it was all meant to show “Labour acting, where the Tories wouldn’t” but that message is too complicated and didn’t cut through.
The best bits – Showing Gordon hard at work, late into the night in a ‘behind the scenes’ style. Coverage of Gordon’s speech to Congress.
The worst bits – When it cut to Gordon in the garden and from a standing start he begins to walk for no apparent reason. Cringe. The bit where Gordon takes two steps towards Obama to shake his hand and stands awkwardly close to him, Obama offers only a lean. Double cringe.
Those two ‘worst bits’ may seem completely trivial, but it’s those tiny bits of awkwardness that turn people off Gordon. As Thaler and Sunstein masterfully point out in Nudge:
“A candidate who makes a bad first impression, or who tries to win votes by complex arguments and statistical demonstrations, may well run into trouble.”
In this party political broadcast Gordon makes a couple of really bad impressions and rounds it off with some relatively complex arguments and policy demonstrations. Not good.