General Election 2010

So with the election all over, we thought we’d take this page down but keep it in the archives – below for your interest if you ever get nostalgic for some good old-fashioned political points-scoring…

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01.04 Oh we wish it wasn’t April Fool’s Day, because these apparently new Labour posters published in the Guardian are just amazing. Still, worth a look for pure comedy value…

31.03 We’re going to pass right over the Tories’ new M & C ads for the simple reason that they are inescapably dull. We might come back when there are some decent spoofs but as yet even the Labour bloggers have failed to really liven this one up.

Whilst we were getting depressed about the pettiness of these ads, though, the following stuff came out.

So Labour have given in and gone on the attack as well, somewhat stooping to the level of the Tories… but then the Tories replied in kind, with their first spoof poster.

So we’re now down to an election based on who has better make-up. Perfect.

Incidentally, at the same time, the Lib Dems launched their “Labservaties” campaign highlighting the similarities of the two main parties. The Labservatives’ party colour is purple, and their logo is a tree crossed with a rose…

Now again, this is all rather silly, but it’s got an element of cleverness that the previous stuff has lacked. There’s a full campaign website, a manifesto on YouTube, and Gorvid Camerown (work it out) even has his own Twitter profile and Facebook page.

Admittedly, it does somewhat highlight the fact that the Lib Dems have nothing of their own to talk about, but we’re amused regardless, so our congrats to Iris for the most engaging advertising so far…

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02.03 Words truly fail us. Take a look at this latest labour press ad and you’ll see why.

It’s truly thrilling, no? Still, we guess politics is a complicated business, and it does need simplifying down to clear messages. We just wish it could be done with some personality or creativity on top of this…

26.02 Today’s big story is that the Labour Party are not going to run any kind of outdoor campaign, for financial reasons. Having spent £18m in 2005, they’re spending just £4m this time around, and it’s all on ‘word of mouth’ tactics such as online and DM.

Obviously the party is claiming it is from a desire to avoid traditional means and to really talk to the voter, but we know this is rubbish. The fact that the spend is so much lower says it all – it’s a money thing. They’d obviously like to spend on outdoor, but it’s just not an option this time around.

So that’s clear – outdoor would have been preferable and is almost certainly better. Having said that, it might not all be bad.

Labour are using this to characterise this election as “David versus Goliath”, with them playing David. And we all know who wins. Plus, the British love an underdog.

On top of that, it also seems like a potentially smart move when government and national debt is so high. The public would quite possibly have detested a high-budget battle between parties they see as inextricably linked to current financial problems. Labour in particular probably need to be seen to spend less.

Unfortunately, both parties still need to get their message across. Unless Labour’s “Barack Obama” tactics are really good, it’s going to be the Tories who shout the loudest. And in politics, it’s the one who shouts the loudest who generally comes out on top.

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17.02 These highly inventive Tory ads broke earlier this week, and we actually couldn’t think of anything to say about them. They made us fall asleep. As always – clear, unimaginative and essentially boring. And going no way towards making politics and politicians seem accessible, relevant or fresh.

Then these spoofs broke (most within 24 hours)… and we were even less impressed. Okay some of them are actually very funny, and we know they are not professional ads, but it all just seems a little childish.

Much as we love the ideas, the grassroots involvement and the growing power of the blogosphere, it all needs to be accompanied by some serious politics. Given that the last Labour ad did nothing but criticise Cameron (see below) we have limited interest in what is starting to amount to little better than name-calling. We just can’t wait for the party political broadcasts, never mind the live TV debate… Anyway, some more spoofs for you – entertaining if nothing else!

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15.02 Well Labour hadn’t really done much since those awful “Jedward” posters during the X Factor that we just had to ignore, and we were looking forward to something brilliant… and then this launched.

Well it’s okay, isn’t it? It works – just about, and it probably is one of the major concerns with Cameron that he isn’t seen to be entirely trustworthy. And “Camera-on, Camera-off” is about as close to a clever line as political advertising ever seems to manage to get.

But seriously. Is this the best they can do? With Cameron looking firm favourite to take the election, accusing him of not being entirely trustworthy doesn’t seem to be the strongest of all possible messages. All politicians lie, after all – it’s not like people view the Labour party as trustworthy.

And honestly. The happy-face-in-colour against sad-face-in-monochrome contrast of the two sides of the poster is about the least inventive thing since Britain’s Got Talent.

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08.02 It seems to make sense to take a quick look at the early stuff from the Tories. We are of course talking about the “We can’t go on like this” stuff.

We have to say, we’re not huge fans. The “year for change” strap line is unimaginative, and the logo they’ve turned it in to looks like a high-school graphic design project. And the lines are far from catchy or engaging.

Having said that, they are simple and straight forward. And much as we can’t stand the faux-concern on Cameron’s face, the image is again effective.

What’s interesting about this is the fact it comes from Cameron, not the party. There isn’t even a Conservative Party logo on the ad. Lessons from America anyone? He might be a fan of the Obama campaign, especially when you consider that “change” strapline.

Of course however, where this thing really works is the sheer scale of the campaign. This has of course been plastered across the biggest billboards they could find, all over the country. Say what you want about advertising having changed, digital being the new big thing, but going or huge and outdoor still has impact. As Gideon Spanier noted earlier this month. Combined with the simplicity of the things, the message is certainly getting home, even if it does lack something by way of creativity.

And on a slightly more entertaining note, we love these spoofs of the ad which we found over at Brand Republic last week… This is the first campaign where bloggers really could play a major role, and if it continues in the same vein we’re looking forward to their contributions!

(This one is terrifying – you could do a spot the difference between the wax figure and the real thing)

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