Obama 2012 – Forward

Regular readers will know that, despite the huge number of permutations, there are only really two election campaign slogans:

1) The Opposition Slogan: Time for a change

2) The Incumbent Slogan: We’re doing ok, don’t let them ruin it

Coming up with the most appropriate and most powerful phrasing of one of these two slogans is not easy, but nevertheless, 99% of all election slogans will fit into one of these two categories.

Obama has, sensibly, not tried to reinvent the wheel and has instead obviously spent some time coming up with his take on The Incumbent slogan.

‘Forward’ works very well.

It’s a neat distillation of The Incumbent’s campaign.  It’s broad enough to sit over the vast array of policy positions he will take. It’s simple enough for people to grasp.  It gives his whole campaign a sense of purpose and momentum.  And, crucially, he’s able to use his Obama ‘O’ logo as one of the letters of the slogan.

‘Forward’ also tacitly insinuates that his opponent, Mitt Romney, is ‘Backward’.  Though the Republicans have tried to devalue the slogan – “Forward and straight of a cliff, more like, *chuckle chuckle*” – but the reality of it is that the phrase is quite hard to appropriate for piss-taking.

‘Forward’ feels like a natural and sensible progression from his 2008 slogan ‘Hope’ and I would guess that his advocates will be equally eager to adopt it and use it for their own 3rd party promotional materials; an element of the campaign which was essential to Obama’s success in ’08.


  1. POORward would be more appropriate – seeing as Obama, Pelosi and Reid a re hell bent on bankrupting the USA – to bring about their Worker Revolution.

  2. I have developed print campaign for Hyundai motors which says ” DRIVE FORWARD” to establish their current positioning which is ” NEW THINKING. NEW POSSIBILITIES”.

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