Political Broadcast Review

Media is such an effective tool for political campaigns, albeit not used half as strongly or wisely as in the US. But as the London election race is starting to come to the fore, the political marketers have given one last push and spent their campaign pennies…on the political broadcast. Please note, it’s not quite like The Ides of March just yet.

Now, we don’t actually reside in London, and therefore we don’t have an axe to grind based on existing policies and broken promises. We just offer this unbiased view of the two key party broadcasts, notably because one of them hired an ad agency for the delivery…

The spot which went live yesterday, April 16th, was the broadcast for Ken Livingston. Now, the man in question is quite a nondescript individual yet he does obviously have a lot to say. The campaign however is deceptive and cleverly executed. It very rarely shows him and provides ‘real views’ which his policies will support instead.


Its puts the emphasis on the people and shows ordinary Londoners appearing to be urging him to win the mayoral election for their sake, talking about their lives and how Ken’s policies will make them better off. In doing so lays a foundation and teaches a lesson. Although long, it holds a consistent message: ‘we need a major who can/ will…’ and that is what makes it quite memorable; it is full of rich and true sentiment.

Now to the contrary, insert Boris. This second political broadcast featured Boris Johnson talking about Boris Johnson. We don’t know what more we can say; we think he appeared in every scene. It was like watching a Nicolas Cage movie.


It doesn’t anchor any real value or policy. It focuses on a 9 point plan, but who in their right mind can remember a 9 point plan for being better off?! Did you even watch this all the way through? Boris needs to think of himself as a brand; a brand which people not only buy into, but believe, and agree see’s their point-of-view.

Quite simply, Ken got this right. Boris didn’t.

Although Ken’s was clearly the better political spot, BETC London and Ken’s political broadcast have come under scrutiny saying that the ‘real voters’ were in fact a carefully selected band of Londoners and these weren’t in fact ‘real truths’… they were simply advertising. Nontheless we still think this worked better.

Even still, with media and advertising the powerful tool that it is today surely both these campaigns could have been much more persuasive..?




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