It was good to hear Gordon Brown restating that Labour are the ‘people’s party’ when he launched the election pledge card at the weekend.
Good to see too that Labour are trying to ensure theirs is the ‘people’s campaign’ .
The latest manifestation is the invitation to online supporters to design Labour’s next poster.
The Party does not have Ashcroft-type money to fund the kind of enormous poster campaigns the Tories have been putting up since the New Year.
But digital poster boards have been booked in London and Manchester for next weekend, and they will be filled with what are judged to be the best ideas sent in by members of the public.
Even the most bright-eyed Tory strategist would have to recognise that their hugely expensive campaign has not produced the results they hoped for. The ‘airbrushed’ poster of a giant David Cameron was a disaster. The second wave highlighting first-time Tory voters was better, technically, but does not appear to have halted the narrowing of the polls. The latest wave, entirely focused on GB, smacks a little of desperation, whilst also reminding people the Tories are still the nasty party.
One of the most interesting political developments of recent weeks has been the extent to which the Tory posters have been subject to immediate and often effective online ridicule.
The moment I knew the airbrushed posters represented Ashcroft money down the drain was when someone had defaced a real poster to turn David Cameron into Elvis Presley and changed the Tory slogan to ‘we can’t go on like this … with suspicious minds.’
Likewise my favourite execution of the first-time voters idea was the one showing Robert Mugabe’s backing for Cameron over GB. And the anti-GB poster is already being used by Labour supporters online to show genuine points of delivery, as opposed to the knocking stuff on the Tory versions.
Labour and their ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, have put out two briefs to supporters for the ‘people’s poster’ that will go up next week. One focuses on Labour’s pledge to protect frontline services, the second on David Cameron’s lack of substance. Nice and easy.
I was sent a good idea over the weekend from a Facebook friend, Hamish Thompson, who suggested opening a Cameron supermarket in which empty tins and cartons covered in DC and his slogans are handed out. Hamish wants to go as far as opening a Cameron hospital, and showing there is nothing in there too. That might be a touch expensive to execute but there is definitely something in the empty tins and cartons, and again it shows, a bit like all the ideas which have flooded into mydavidcameron.com that people out there are already onto the lack of substance theme.
Both to see some of the Saatchi and Saatchi ideas, and to find out how to send in your own ideas, go to http://www.labour.org.uk/labours-new-ad
** Buy The Blair Years online and raise cash for Labour http://www.alastaircampbell.org/bookshop.php.