The Labour Party have released a new poster which tries to evoke the sense amongst voters that they are being held back by Conservative governments.
It carries the headline “The Tories have held back Britain long enough” and a subhead saying “Time to build a better Britain for the many not the few”. The visual features a female arm – wearing a blue bracelet in order to infer that it’s attached to the body of Theresa May – seemingly physically dragging the UK backwards.
It’s not a bad effort.
The message is clear, it features a vaguely eye-catching visual that reinforces the headline and the art direction is clean and contemporary.
Where the poster falls down is that fact the message is very general, which means that most floating voters’ immediate reaction will be to ask “in what way?”
The accompanying press release articulates a number of reasons why Labour think that people feel held back:
- “they don’t feel secure in their jobs”
- “can’t remember the last time they had a pay rise”
- “their children are struggling to learn in crowded classrooms”,
- “their hearts sink when they see what it costs to rent or buy a home.”
But people seeing coverage of the poster launch on TV, or glimpsing it on social media, won’t take those messages away.
If the Labour Party’s research shows that their target voters feel that way about those areas of policy, then it is those issues they should dramatise in their advertising.
It’s totally understandable why Corbyn’s team bought this poster idea: they can reel off numerous ways in which they feel the government lets the average person down and this generalised message speaks to all of them.
But the vagueness of the statement means that most normal people will be left cold.