Conservative Party’s new ads aim to make brand feel younger

The Conservatives latest adverts reveal a new strategy which they hope will transform their fortunes. Their plan is to increase their appeal with a younger group of voters by promoting a positive, more tangible policy offering whilst making their brand feel more contemporary.

The Conservative Party have released a new set of ads which promote some of their achievements in government.

They point to an increase in the amount of money allocated to defence, more pupils in good or outstanding schools and reforms made to personal finance legislation.

The ads use full bleed images, which have optimistic colour palettes, a bold sans serif font in caps and a layering effect which gives a sense of movement and dynamism.

These are art directional tactics that are in vogue with lifestyle brands which market to the sorts of young (and youngish) people who largely deserted the Conservatives at general election 2017.

The policies being promoted in the campaign are also 'retail' in nature, in the sense that they explain how government decisions directly impact the lives of individual voters.

The campaign wash-up at CCHQ must have suggested that two facets of their lack of appeal are: 1) no clear articulation of what a Conservative government would "do for people like me" and 2) a brand that feels out of touch with modern Britain.

These ads are a good effort and it's impressive that the Conservatives seem to have already conducted an analysis as to what went wrong and put in place a strategy to make amends.

Momentum video refutes Tory attacks on student debt position

The Conservative Party and their allies in the press have been attacking Corbyn and the Labour Party for supposedly flip-flopping on student debt cancellation.

The Sun’s headline yesterday was “Jeremy Corbyn’s U-turn on tuition fees debt is jaw-dropping and only a ruse to persuade voters” whilst The Daily Express went for “Corbyn ridiculed for student debt U-turn after realising £100BN cost”.

Momentum, continuing their GE2017 approach of using highly shareable online video as an alternative to coverage in national newspapers,  have created an amusing and well argued film on the topic.

A thorough refutation of the Conservative argument – combined with a simple set, a deadpan style of dialogue and a well-timed edit – results in a very amusing, shareable and persuasive piece of video content.

The acting performances are particularly impressive.

These two need their own show (or at least redeployment for other Labour rebuttal videos).


Labour Party grass roots attack Jacob Rees-Mogg

A grass roots Labour Party organisation, called Ealing Labour 4 Corbyn, have posted a video attacking Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg to their twitter and Facebook channels.

The film highlights Rees-Mogg’s voting record on issues like gay marriage, the bedroom tax and welfare cuts.

The ambition of the ad is to seed doubts in the minds of voters (and journalists) who might find the MP’s ‘old fashioned British eccentric’ persona appealing; they instead want to position him as a hard-right reactionary.

The viciousness of the attack might surprise some given that Rees-Mogg and Corbyn, on paper, have wildly different constituencies of support.

And, given the anti-establishement sentiment that seems to be prevailing in the UK, it’s tempting to dismiss the ambitions of a candidate like Rees-Mogg 

But it’s worth remembering that Corbyn’s support was to a significant extent enabled by his personal qualities, such as authenticity, empathy and a distinctive sartorial style.

The memes, celebrity endorsements and standing-room-only events would have been less likely to flow so readily had it been another person fronting the Labour 2017 manifesto.

Organisations like EL4C – though they would be unlikely to admit it – see similar personal qualities in Jacob Rees-Mogg as they see in Corbyn and so are trying to prevent any green shoots of support from growing.