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News & Views from Alchemis

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Call us for a chat on +44 (0)20 7836 3678 or Email Jim Piper or David Newman

Labour tries a spot of DIY over the Easter weekend

So Labour has invited the public to ‘do it yourself’ and design their latest poster. You’ve probably seen the winning entry comparing David Cameron to the Ashes to Ashes character DCI Gene Hunt under the strapline ‘Don’t let him take Britain back to the 1980’s’.

The design was free, they received extensive PR coverage and even ticked the all important digital / social media box by videoing the winning designer Jacob Quagliozzi visiting the Saatchi and Saatchi offices which has been posted on YouTube.

Was this a genius strategy from the Labour party to bring user generated content in to the heart of their campaign? Or is this simply a gimmick?

Well, on first appearance this looks like it could be a good move with maximum exposure for minimum investment (something all marketers are striving to achieve). The Labour party isn’t the first brand to encourage their ‘customers’ to contribute to their marketing communications activity (the nation awaits with bated breath the results of Walkers next crisp flavour chosen by the public).

More importantly though, are the results any good? Jacob’s idea was judged the best of over a thousand submitted to the Labour Party but I’m not sure the guys at Saatchi and Saatchi need to be overly worried that Labour will be ditching their agency in favour of more work from the public on future campaigns.

The Tories didn’t seem too miffed either with Dave claiming to quite like the comparison and their own agency RSCG promptly brought out a version of the ad changing the strapline to ‘Fire up the Quattro, It’s time for change’.

This may have sparked a trend of using other parties posters as yesterday the Lib Dems launched their latest poster based on the Tories ‘tax bombshell’ campaign originally used by the Conservatives in the 1992 election.

So perhaps Labour’s DIY poster competition wasn’t the touch of genius it first appeared to be and we can put this particular battle down as a score draw with no clear winner. Unless of course Audi decide to use this renewed interest in their iconic Quattro brand with their own bit of retro marketing.

‘Vorsprung durch Technik’, as they used to say in adland.

P.S. for what it’s worth, I know where my vote will go – it’s got to be Spanish Chicken Paella surely?

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