Not an April Fools Joke: Don’t take us back

April 6, 2010

April Fools Day 2010 brought us one of the best fake political campaigns of the decade, with the “Vote Labour. Or Else.” slogan.

Now, with the British election starting today (with the poll on May 6), let’s look at the British Labour Party’s actual campaign.

Via Facebook: Labour's new poster - a stark reminder of life under the Tories: http://bit.ly/OurNewAd

British Labour is doing a lot of good things with their campaigning – I’ve highlighted one in particular: Airbrushed for Change, an anti-David Cameron site that allowed Labour supporters to submit user-generated content.

This poster above was apparently put up for an online competition, a la Airbrushed for Change. It was promoted on a range of social networks, including Facebook.

Jacob’s design was chosen from more than 1000 submitted in just three days in response to the Party’s “create Labour’s next ad” campaign and will be the first of many. Jacob got to work with ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi to bring his idea to life.

And the Labour Party has produced a You-tube video to go with it, showing Jacob Quagliozzi visiting Saatchi & Saatchi to design the poster with Labour’s expert ad-agency. To see the video please click here.

The poster warns that David Cameron would take Britain on a time-travel journey back to the socially divisive early-80s when the nation was scarred by youth unemployment and social unrest.

Clearly Labour’s decided to go negative towards Cameron, which is fair enough. It’s natural for the governing party to “put the blow torch on” the opposition. By highlighting the negatives, Labour makes voters more vigilant, and (so long as the negative ads are true) raises legitimate points about the fitness of the opposition to form government. After all, negative campaigning works.

The tightrope that Labour must walk is to define and articulate a clear positive vision. Blair talks about Labour’s challenge in 1996 when they first were elected (watch the video).

POSTSCRIPT

It’s worth checking out Labour’s Facebook app: a “pledge-sharer”.


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