Last Friday (2nd Jan), the Conservative Party released their first poster of their general election 2015.
The poster features a road that begins in the foreground of the image and runs into the horizon through a green and lush British countryside landscape. The ad carries the headline “Let’s stay on the road to a stronger economy”. The body copy features substantiation to the claim that the economy is improving, including the phrase ‘the deficit halved’; a statement which many in the media claim is a ‘porkie’.
I give the Conservatives credit for the fact that their first poster of the campaign is one which positively states their case for their re-election. That always feels like the appropriate thing for an incumbent to do, as opposed to beginning with an attack on the opposition.
This sort of enthusiastic communication will do a good job of reassuring voters who are already leaning towards voting Tory in May that they are doing the right thing.
However, it must be said, that this is a fairly dull piece of advertising. There is a little in the way of interest or reward for the viewer. Instead of trying to charm the electorate with wit or intelligence the party have tried to avoid risk and deliver a straight message.
The fact that this poster, which is unlikely to gain a huge amount of traction positively as it is so boring, is getting so much negatively publicity (around the deficit claim) will be very frustrating for the Conservative leadership.
Perhaps the middle of road isn’t always the safest place to be.