At the beginning of the campaign we weren’t really sure, but by last night it was blindly clear. Twitter, and social media generally, in this election campaign do not matter – not in the wider scheme of things at least.
The blizzard of tweets last night, 154,342 in all (up on the second debate but down on the first) were in the main anti Cameron in nature– Tweetminister’s sentiment score had it as Clegg 3.13 (-0.5), Brown 2.99 (-0.15), Cameron 2.96 (-0.22) #leadersdebate.
Clegg was the clear winner on Twitter and on Facebook and Brown it appeared to be agreed had done better. It was Clegg one; Brown two; and Cameron three.
Read more on Why Twitter doesn’t matter at all (in this election)…
I’ve been trying to imagine the conversations that took place with the designers of the Labour and Conservative manifestos.
Labour: We want it to look like Obama’s campaign
Designer: The Hope poster? Great, that’s an iconic piece of design.
Labour: Yes. Except the UK’s not like Amercia. We’d need it to be a teeny bit different.
Designer: Go on…
Labour: Well, don’t put Gordon in it to start. Use a young family instead – that way people will know we’re on their side. Then, make it more colourful. The Amercian one’s too drab. We want people to feel optimisitic so use loads of nice brights like yellow, orange, green, blue and lilac. Oh, and just so people know we’re in touch with Britain, put some rolling countryside in and some hedges and trees. It needs to look like a bright, optimistic landscape – you know the sort of thing I mean. And put the line “a future fair for all” right in the middle where everyone can see it, not stuck away at the bottom. And do that in red because that’s supposed to be our colour after all.
Designer: Right. Anything else?
Labour: You know the sun in Obama’s logo? We’d like one of those please. Only, can you make sure it looks like a sun and not a moon? Add some big rays to it.
Designer: Here you go.
Labour: Doesn’t look much like Obama’s.
Designer: No. I wonder why?
Conservative: We don’t want this to look like it’s been designed by expensive designers.
Designer: Do it yourself then.
Read more on A manifesto for design…
As I revealed in today’s Marketing, Labour has mooted the launch of a website to help parents complain about sexualised products and aggressive marketing aimed at children in its manifesto.
If it sounds vaguely familiar that’s because Tory leader David Cameron unveiled a virtually identical policy in February which is repeated in his party’s manifesto today.
While my Tory contacts have been quick to cry ‘copy-cat’, I don’t have a huge problem with people setting tribalism aside and being big enough to adopt good ideas irrespective of their provenance.
But this is far from a good idea. In fact it stinks of opportunism and the sort of nonsense that parties do when pursuing the ‘Daily Mail’ vote.
Firstly, I feel I should point out that there’s this organisation called the Advertising Standards Authority. You may have heard of it, it’s the body responsible for ad regulation in the UK. It’s been doing this for around 50 years so it’s hardly as if there’s nowhere for these supposed legions of concerned parents to turn to if they see ads that offend. So that deals with the ad side.
Where sexualised children’s products are concerned, the parties may have a better case. I’m not entirely sure who I would complain to if I saw something on sale that I offended me.
But is this really such a huge issue deserving of manifesto attention? I can barely think of any examples. Furthermore when the odd weird product has slipped through the net the retailer concerned has quickly removed it from shelves to kill off the bad publicity.
But why pick on the marketing industry anyway if clamping down on the premature sexualisation of children is a real worry? What about, for example, music videos which routinely show scantily clad women bumping and grinding away at all hours of the day?
Perhaps attempting to tackle these wider issues would open up a whole new can of worms that neither party has the stomach for so they are being conveniently overlooked.
Given that both parties have endorsed this website, it would appear that it will become a reality. Oh dear.
Read more on ‘Short-sited’ manifesto policies…
The Tories have been in touch about their Death Tax ad created by their, ahem, agency Euro RSCG. Apparently it was a key driver in defeating something that didn’t exist. Great job on that.
The shamelessly scaremongering ad (gravestone/old people, anyone?) they say was a key driver in defeating a £20,000 levy that the Tories said Labour planned to take from voters to help pay for elderly care.
Except that this ad was based on an erroneous story in the Guardian that claimed health secretary Andy Burnham was seriously considering the move.
Read more on Tories claim poster success in defeating policy that never was…
Last night’s debate #Askthechancellors had few surprises but it did prove to be a big hit both in terms of the 2m who tuned in at the peak and thousands who took part in what was the first mass social media political event in this country.
It is true that many many more watched ‘Eastenders’ (2m versus 9m), but not I think a let down as this was really the warm up for the three 90 minute leader debates.
I enjoyed last night’s event and it offered up some surprises even if for me, like most (I’m guessing), it confirmed my existing prejudices.
Looking at Twitter and the blogs this morning that seems to be the overall reaction with the Liberal Democrat Vince Cable showing stately wisdom (not to mention the evening’s sound bite with “pin-striped Scargills”) than his rivals Alasdair Darling and George Osborne (I know it wasn’t just me who thought he looked like the head boy).
Tory Osborne struggled, but to be fair he also scored with his death tax remark that Darling looking uncomfortable at times bought upon himself. But even that score wasn’t enough to dispel the overall impression that Osborne was the loser.
This was all confirmed by viewers who took part in an online vote during the programme that awarded victory to Cable with 36% of votes, compared with 32% for Darling and 32% for Osborne. Coincidentally this chimes with a YouGov/C4 poll before the show that gave Cable victory (do a lot of Lib Dems watch Channel 4?), but put Darling second rather than tying.
Read more on #Askthechancellors points to a much more social future…
The tooing and froing in the advertising world this week as the Tories drafted in M&C Saatchi to nudge nudge “work alongside” Euro RSCG has been fun to watch.
In the official version of events broken by Campaign “Euro RSCG retains its lead agency status”, but the unofficial version is that the Tories are said to have hired M&C Saatchi weeks ago.
They did it after the amusing David Cameron airbrush debacle broke. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer agency (did you read David Jones’s comment referring to the “Brown regime” – who talks like that?).
As the spoofing gathered pace online spread virally with the help of blogs, Twitter and communities like Mumsnet Euro RSCG’s goose was cooked highlighted nicely by this spoof poster produced by Beau Bo D’Or.
Read more on Our ad agency isn’t working, but will negative campaigning?…