‘Confessions of a Republican’ redux

This brilliant TV ad for Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential campaign in 1964 bears an uncanny relevance to the 2016 cycle and has recently gone viral on Facebook.

Barry Goldwater, who won his party’s primary  to become the Republican candidate but polarised opinion during the campaign, was an extreme right winger.  This spot features a Republican activist pledging to campaign against his party’s candidate.

Hillary Clinton will be comforted by the fact that in the general election Democrat candidate Lyndon B. Johnson won a landslide victory.

Labour poster: Osborne rides dodgems at the unfair funfair 

Labour have attacked the Chancellor George Osborne (and Google) in their first piece of national advertising since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader.

The poster-style executions carry the party’s newly unveiled election slogan “standing up, not standing by”.

I’m not sure which is a worse decision:

a) using a funfair as a creative vehicle because it rhymes with “unfair” 

b) choosing Google’s tax contributions as a line of attack 

The two most important things to achieve when creating a piece of political advertising are intellectual clarity and an impactful visual.

These posters achieve neither. 

Whilst Google’s tax affairs might be something that gets the hard left hot under the collar it’s not something that voters will see as an issue that is particularly relevant to their everyday lives. And even if it was, nothing is offered as to what Labour could / would do about it if in government.

And the executions – both copy and art direction – are clumsy and uninspiring.

The use of “google it” as a piece of wordplay reads like a slightly desperate dad joke.  

And why is Osborne in a dodgem car?  What relevance does a funfair have to Google? The visuals don’t  relate at all to the issue at hand. Aside from the fact that “unfair” rhymes with “funfair” – which is so tenuous that it makes the ad quite confusing.

Viewers will assume there’s some deeper meaning which they don’t understand.

Finally, the language – “Don’t seem to understand” / “Perhaps they should” – is just so pathetically  weak. It’s almost apologetic in tone.

It doesn’t get much worse than this I’m afraid.

Risky business

What can we expect from EU referendum campaigns

I wrote an article at the beginning of February for advertising industry magazine Campaign anticipating what the EU referendum campaigns might look like.  You can read the full post here (just making it easy for y’all to hold me ruthlessly to account for my predictive chuntering).

Here’s a couple of tweets from some key ‘leave’ leaders that illustrate that ‘project fear’ isn’t limited to the ‘remain’ campaign.



Paddy Power ad: Orange is the new black

Paddy Power has seen enough and is paying out to punters who backed Trump to win the Republican nomination.

They’ve released this risqué advert in order to publicise their political betting offering.

Trump’s odds began at 100/1 and cut to 40/1 after he announced his intention to run for office in June.

Paddy Power has taken over 1000 individual bets on Trump, with over 50% of all money going in his direction. 

One brave punter put £1000 at 25/1 and will now receive their £26,000 before the contest has concluded.