Hasn’t Gordon Brown’s debt grown

A fantastic new poster for the Conservative Party that I just saw on a site near Mornington Crescent.  It’s another in the ‘debt crisis‘ series and, like those before it, the poster cleverly stirs up the positive emotions parents feel towards their children with the sentiments of anger and fear that messages around debt bring about.

Top 10 Political Adverts of 2009

As we come to the end of the year I’ve fallen pathetically in line with convention and compiled a reflection on the year that was.  So without further ado, justification or democratic engagment, here are the top 10 British political advertisments of 2009:

1. Labour’s Spent (Euro RSCG)

2. Old News (Glue London)

3.  Rape is cheaper than bullets (Amnesty International/Different Kettle)

4. Bottled Water: 98% melted ice caps, 2% polar bear tears (Tappening)

5. You won’t be laughing if they win (Saatchi & Saatchi)

6. Dad’s nose, Mum’s eyes and Gordon Brown’s debt (Euro RSCG)

7. SpeechBreaker.co.uk (Lean Mean Fighting Machine)

8. #WelovetheNHS (founder unknown)

9. Against the odds (Labour Party)

10. Labour’s put us all in the red (360 Recruitment)

Political ad scamps

As mentioned previously, the agency 360 Recruitment are inviting comments throughout the creative development process that will eventually lead to publication of some political adverts in The Independent on Sunday.   They’ve posted the first round of scamps in the article ‘Things can only get bitter’.

Above are my personal favourites.  Both deal with the issue of the next election in clever, original and compelling ways.

In general elections there are really only ever two ads that can be made (obviously there are almost infinite numbers of smart, innovate ways of dressing up them up):

1. Time for a change (opposition party).

2. We’re doing ok, and better than the other lot would, so don’t spoil a good thing (incumbent party).

The featured adverts communicate the ‘it’s time for a change’ message, in a relevant and poignant way, whilst at the same time rubbishing the ‘everything is ok’ line of that the government will inevitably roll out. 

Getting a majority of people to change their default position (i.e. voting Labour for the last 12 years) is incredibly difficult and opposition parties will be up against a vicious combination of nostalgia and conservatism.  The featured adverts deal with the human instinct to stick with the devil you know and then urge voters to opt for a different future.

Tories Dominate Google Search for Pre-Budget Report

The Conservatives made use of Google’s Adwords platform this week to make sure that anyone searching for ‘Budget’, ‘Pre-Budget Report’ or ‘Treasury’ were directed to their website.  This domination of the top positions provided anyone interested in the content with George Osborne’s view on the state of the economy.

As you can see below, there’s a huge spike in the number of searches around ‘pre-budget report’ and the Conservative Party want to make sure that those searching it can access the Conservative Party’s response to it quickly and easily.   The people searching such terms will be high powered individuals such as bankers and leaders of industry as well as opinion forming elites like journalists and academics – all of whom are worth having on-side.

Spending a relatively small amount of money on adwords to ensure a tiny but highly influential group of people are aware of your stance on the key issue of the next (and arguably any) election seems like a very smart thing to do.


Last year the Independent ran a piece where they asked advertising agencies to create some political adverts in advance of a prospective election.  It seems from 360 Recruitment’s blog that the Independent are running the same piece a year on.  How exciting.  David will be posting their scamps and ideas throughout their creative development process, so keep an eye on their website for that.

I can’t believe the Indie didn’t feature the above advert in last year’s article.  Fantastic idea, beautifully art directed.

Kevin Pietersen being a smug git

Another example of a brand trying to use Obama’s capital, just over a year since his election.  Although I’d be amazed if people can see past Kevin Pietersen’s smug face to notice that he’s meant to sat in the Oval Office and Barack is slightly miffed at having someone ruin his butt groove.

(Thanks to Matt for sending through).