Thursday, May 3, 2007

Election posters

I was getting the 46a into college today and it struck me that there was a truly incredible amount of Election posters up everywhere that my eyes cared to wander, seemingly any street light pole is fair game for pre election advertising, and the political parties have them fairly comprehensively covered in an incredibly short amount of time.

I’m not sure who designs these posters on behalf of the candidates, but I think that they are fundamentally flawed and very ineffective. I think the people in question haven’t asked themselves some pretty simple questions, seeing as this is an advertisement (of a type)

  • Who am I selling this idea to?
  • How will I convince them to choose my idea over someone Else's?

As far as I can see, the people who know the political scene in any meaningful way, on the most part, know who they are going to vote for and why, and (I acknowledge they can also act as a reminder) they are not going to be swung by the amount of times they see Joe Bloggs smiley face on a poster stuck up on a pole on the way to work. So therefore the people who might be swayed by these posters are the uninformed or undecided voters.

Once that is established you need to decide what method would be best to swing these people to choose your candidate/idea over anyone elses. The current approach seems to be to get the candidates face to fill the poster and put his/her name beside it…great.
I think that a much more effective approach would be to state what that person/party is offering to you the voter, that the others aren’t. Even a few simple sentences “introduce mandatory duck washing” or whatever it may be…just something….anything…Information.

Comparing this to an everyday product that is advertised to perfection is Dell computers, Dell know who they are trying to advertise to (on tv: the “average home user”) and try to convince you by telling you exactly what they offer for your purchase(vote). This is a much more effective way of swinging uninformed/undecided buyers than simply putting an ad on the TV that says “BUY(vote) DELL”

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

They are going for the lowest common demoninator, appearance...Ah, she has a nice face, I'll vote for her...its as simple as that...also, some of the candidates do come (annoyingly during the simpsons) to your house to introduce themselves to you, so the photo serves as a reminder...having said that when the last guy, a greeney person came to the door, all he said was "I just wanted you to know that I am running in the upcoming elections" and then scampered off, before handing me something that I presume he wanted me to throw away for him...could have been a pamphlet with his policies, now that I think about it...I really don't know why we had to get paper involved in the relationship, he could have just said, "I'm Mr Green, vote for me and I'll

a. Oppose Mandatory Duck Washing
b. Impose Mandatory Cactus Shining
c. Agree to an increase in sunshine

So vote number 1 for Mr Green".

And then I'd have gone back to the simpsons happier and informed, and made up my mind not to vote for the green smelly duck lover.

That is all. (Johan).

ed said...

yeh true to an extent, i would argue that the lowest common donominator who will be convinced by a FACE...will most probably not be voting

Anonymous said...

I would agree that those who have only seen the photo, will mostly not vote.

And, as is alluded to in the previous comment, the photo serves as a reminder to prompt other memories, much as a brand flash does. Those people who have had other experiences of the candidate will then vote.

Indeed, according Albert Mehrabian, see link below) humans interpret others with his famous 7%-38%-55% Mehrabian's rule.

In that total liking =
7% Verbal Liking + 38% Vocal Liking + 55% Facial Liking

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Mehrabian

Sadly it would appear that humanity places far too much emphasis on facial liking - one could safely assume that it is the cause of racism and other forms of superficially derived bigotry.

Jamie said...

I think the funniest thing about all this campaigning is the nature of some of the parties' slogans.

FF: "now the next steps..." - trying to justify their lack of progress so far

PDs: "don't throw it all away..." - absurdly ominous statement which seems to suggest more that we should vote for them not on their own merits, but simply because everybody else is crap.

Greens: "it's time" - wish i thought of that...


"voting is great, but if I have to choose between a Douche and a Turd then I just don't see the point" - Stan Marsh

Ben Kirwan said...

I don't understand those who give out about politicians coming to your door. Ed - you're giving out about the way politicians sell themselves. I think though, more time spent advertising yourself in this way looks fake and planned to spark just the simplest of reactions from voters in order to sway them. Although i recognise that this sort of politics is useful. I think if you indulge in auctioneering politics the whole time, you're going to be caught out by those more intelligent. I think talking to people and really engaging with them is a much more productive stance. I generally think we're better than just obediant sheepish followers.

ed said...

nah im not giving out about them doing it, im just saying, if you are going to do it, think about how.

Jamie said...

I will stop, I will stop at nothing.
Say the right things when electioneering
I trust I can rely on your vote.

David said...

Ed do you think the big parties don't spend vast amounts of money on consultants and PR companies. They even hire american spin doctors. Obviously theres logic to it.

Besides, aren't the posters just for drivers to notice as they go around, rather than pedestrians to stop and read.

I havent really been looking around but Fine Gael seem to have some of the best slogans like "safer streets, for a change". I think thats quite good.

ed said...

well you know, id imagine they do that is what surprises me and i know they could act as reminders for drivers...i just would have thought with the free range they are given in terms of ad space they could use it better, in my view those swung by faces..wont be votin...could be wrong but...there you go, we could possibly argue this for quiiite a while

Jamie said...

to be honest ed, i thought the main function of these posters was simply to let the passer by know who his candidates actually are. its definitely the easiest way to know, rather than going onto each individual party's website and looking for their candidate lists, browsing through constituencies, etc etc. u can just walk onto your road and read the posters.