Vote her get him

The Liberal Democrats have released a new poster which shows a Nigel Farage and Theresa May mash-up standing outside 10 Downing St.

The headline reads “Vote her get him” and attempts to remind voters that, in seeking a hard Brexit, Theresa May has adopted the views and values of Nigel Farage and UKIP.

This is a bit of an homage to the infamous “Be Afraid” poster Labour ran in 2001 which featured a faceswap of William Hague and Margaret Thatcher. 

Whilst the visual style is the same, it lacks the intellectual clarity that made the original so good.

William Hague, at the time, was seen as a right-winger intent on turning the clock backwards; making him look like Margaret Thatcher was a clever way to land that point.

In the May / Farage execution the message doesn’t ring true. It’s not popularly accepted that May is pursuing Farage’s agenda; people see her as implementing the will of the British public.

And by voting Conservative you – taking it literally – will not be in any danger of electing Farage or putting UKIP in power.

So whilst it’s an eyecatching visual – a fact that has helped it to make headlines – the message the poster is trying to deliver won’t stick as it doesn’t ring true.

Lib Dems borrow from Tory poster

Lib Dem poster dont let britain take the wrong turn

The Liberal Democrats have released a poster which borrows from the Conservative poster ‘road to recovery’ (a.k.a ‘highway to hell’) from earlier in the year.

The strategy is sound enough; it accuses Labour of being profligate with public money and the Conservative Party of being ruthlessly obsessed with cuts.

The creative execution is, however, very lazy indeed.  Creating a ‘piss-take’ poster 3 weeks after the original came-out is completely pointless.  It’s either got to be within hours of the original or not at all.  And even then, it has to be very funny indeed.  This is neither timely, nor amusing.  Must do better.

Clegg apologises for making a promise

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader who is in coalition government the Conservative Party, has released a video in which he speaks directly to camera with intensity, bordering on desperation, about his decision to abandon his promise to block any rise in tuition fees.

The apology comes two years after his party broke their pledge and in the form of “sorry we promised you something we couldn’t deliver on” as opposed to “sorry we broke our promise”.

Clegg’s delivery is good and he is undoubtedly feeling very sorry; whether that is genuinely about his betrayal of supporters or about his party’s polling is up for debate.

The video has sparked spoofs with ‘honesty subtitles’ which have proved popular.  One example here:

Boris Johnson: The NightMayor

Finally!  A decent piece of video content for one of the candidates for London Mayor (although Paddick’s official campaign claim to have had nothing to do with it).

The NightMayor attacks Boris Johnson for his percieved absence during the 2011 London Riots and his purported culprability for issues surrounding News of The World links with the Metropolitcan Police.

The film concludes with a piece of positive messaging around Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate, and leaves viewers with the damning end line “jokes aren’t funny the second time around”.

The video carries a simply and effective narrative by professionally putting together  existing footage of both Boris Johnson and the Lib Dem candidate.  Yes, the ‘movie-trailer-as-political-ad’ has been done to death, but if it’s done well it can be very impactful.

Whoever’s pulled this together has obviously had some experience in production and, my word, doesn’t it show.  Paddick’s campaign is having a strong back straight!

Brian Paddick Poster – Police are wasted on cannabis

Brian Paddick’s campaign have released a poster which calls for London’s police force to take a more relaxed position on dealing (tee hee) with cannabis.

It features the headline “Police are wasted on cannabis” and asserts that massive amounts of police time, money and energy is misspent policing the sale and use of the herb.

Now this is a ballsy advertising! As David Trott, creative advertising legend, famously says: the first job of any piece of advertising is “get noticed”.  Well done Team Paddick for having the cojones to be bold.

Brian Paddick has two significant points of difference from the mainstream candidates:

1. His background, policing, isn’t one of either of the ruling elites that most people despise – politics or journalism.

2. He has some policies which differentiate him from the two leading candidates; in this case, relaxation of rules on policing smoking marijuana.

And, as any sensible marketeer would do, he’s making these points of ‘product difference’ into seemingly functional benefits.  Very good.

The next step is to build an emotional connection, based on these functional benefits, with the audience.  If I was running his campaign, I’d be busy thinking up an ad along the lines of “what London means to me”.


David Cameron – Common People Video

A very funny video taking the piss out of Cameron and Osborne’s privileged backgrounds using a re-write of Pulp’s ‘Common People’ track.  Great copy writing, appropriate visual imagery and unsurprisingly getting a huge amount of traction online.