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.
Not surprising that, with such an appalling record after 13 years in office, Labour and its ad agency are incapable of designing an effective poster for their discredited party.
I work in advertising and my colleagues and I are astonished to put it mildly that the Tories now have two agencies working alongside each other. As your diaries make very clear, political parties are not the easiest clients !!… and the agencies tend to do the work less for money than for prestige and profile. So the hiring of M and C Saatchi was pretty humiliating for Euro RSCG. It does however point to a real problem in strategy and I thik that is the reason there appear to be so many problems with their presentation – because the reality is not fixed
What is good about the defaced posters, online or real, is that when I see one of the real ones,undefaced, I think of some of the defaced ones. They do not get the modern world and modern comms
Sad to see Burnley go down to Blackburn yesterday. I do hope that Burnley’s relegation isn’t a harbinger for Labour’s relegation.
BTW, all this lightweight poster stuff is very amusing but what happened to policy?
Brilliant idea – shld get some great posters. Pity the ‘single thought’ in the brief for ad 1 is more kitchen sink than single-minded tho’ – am finding it v. tough!!!
I’m delighted by the idea of letting the supporters design the posters. It is such a good idea I wish I’d thought of it myself.
I think the Conservative party’s posters are being ridiculed partially because we know they have cost a fortune to make. As voters we are being preached at by those posters, told how we should think by the very rich.
The Labour campaign should be “ground up”. It should involve the people and respect them. Getting supporters to design the posters is a perfect way of achieving this. Also the idea itself demonstrates imagination whereas the Conservatives changing of advertising agency shows no imagination at all.
I think M&C Saatchi’s posters are about the best they could do given the circumstances, but, boy, are they basic. They are so basic when I first saw them I thought that maybe they were trying to make them as easy as possible for people to change the text.
I think the Conservatives have a problem attacking Brown which is that the public are saying “enough already” to Brown attacks. They are fed up with it and the more the Conservatives attack Brown in this personal manner the more people will start wanting to defend him.
I think this election should be called:
My poster would have DC and Oik playing on a play station with the caption.
Division bell! “members are requested to vote on the motion in the next ten minutes”.
Picture of Osborne ,,,, this man will be in charge of your money, your schools, your hospitals … have I won yet?
Cute move by the Tories today but I don’t think the public believe they can deliver it. Darling has to take Osborne to the cleaners tonight
Patrick James – are you in fact AC’s shadow?Been following this blog for a few weeks and never heard such a sycophantic load of rubbish…
Your comment today smacks of jealously and defeatism…and AC aren’t pledge cards something from the past a bit Blue Peterish,cut from a cereal packet etc…
Once again Alastair you, and most of those who comment here, have missed the point. The new posters with pictures of the PM are not personal or nasty. They quite clearly point out valid home truths about his and Labour’s dreadful track record, whether on crime, education or the economy. On the other hand the petty jibes in Labour posters featuring Osborne are purely personal. And give up on the hackneyed line about Ashcroft’s money, it pales into insignifcance against Labour’s trade union financing.
Maybe just use the quote from the Welsh ex Labour MP who joined the Tories today. He seems to sum it up very well. Bung a piccie of yourself and Mandy up too. Sorted guvner.
Great to see Osborne on NICs today. Labour’s tax increase on income is wrong. A tax on jobs when the economy is in a poor state is plain wrong. We should be looking to encourage job growth. The fact he is aiming it at the low AND MIDDLE income earners is good to see. We all know that Labour will end up taxing those of us in the middle who have never reached the higher rate. There’s not enough of the higher earners to cover Labour’s debt and deficit crisis. You haven’t got the balls to take the tough decisions on public spending as your commentary keeps showing. You seem dishonest when talking about hospitals and schools when you know that you will have to cut public spending more than Thatcher.
The suggestion you had from Hamish Thompson is close to an idea I passed to my former MP (Mike Hall, very hard working and available to his constituents).
This was the concept of “Brand Cameron”, an aspirational product (of course) which comes in tins or cartons using a similar style to Campbell’s Soup (no relation) – Cameron instead of Campbell. The tins, when opened, are shown to be empty, and Brand Cameron turns out to be all aspiration and no substance.
You could also feature a slightly dodgy and circumferentially challenged salesman called Fat Eric, who shamelessly pushes Brand Cameron with his mildly patronising “Righteous Yorkie” attitude.
I’ve already sent my idea to Labour HQ: Entitled ‘The Tories’ Latest Masterpiece’: Cameron and Osbourne grin away as they parade their latest painting which says ‘Tory Manifesto 2010: Wrecking the Economic Recovery’.
I don’t have the kit to produce a poster.
Whatever the punchlines, let’s keep it positive!
Listened to cuddly Ken today on the Jeremy Vine show on the radio, he appeared as shadow business secretary but spent 95% of the time asking questions that should have been put to Osborne. A few clangers from him, he insisted that more teachers are’nt better for education. I thought that all tories sent their kids to grammar schools where they’re taught in classes of 10-15.
On the inheritence tax he stated that many working class people with houses worth over £300,000 would benefit from it. Not many people I know with houses worth that much in Manchester!
Finally he did speak about business mentioning James Dyson as a good example. Dyson closed his factory to move production abroad making 800 workers redundant.
just watched the tv debate between the chancellors… AD came of pretty well i thought and he made a good point early on about the lack of any real funding for osbournes national insurance idea. the one that probably came of best was vince cable though… Osbourne looked a bit stumped when he was told you’re number one tax policy is to reduce tax for the 3000 wealthiest estates!
I think this was a rare opportunity for AD to get a platform to make it clear to people what he has done to save the economy from much worse and i think people wil trust him…should see more of him i think.
How about putting out a poster detailing Labour’s major achievements over the last 13 years.
Pay for it by the word and you will not need ‘Ashcroft-type money’, it will cost F*** all.
As for the ‘people’s party’, perhaps ‘people on benefits party’ would be more suitable !
It has to involve a Tory “axe” imo.How about a spoof on Jack Nicholon’s axe in “The Shining” -with the headline “HERE’S TORY”! -weilded by Osborn and Cameron -coming down on Jobs -Public Services -The Recovery etc?
Everyone’s a “creative” eh?
Last nights debate – did anyone notice the bald headed smart guy nodding away when AD spoke like the proverbial nodding dog ! Im sure its the same dude who sat front row in the Chilcott enquiry when Blair spoke nodding away…is this the Labour secret weapon a nodding dog?