Time is short this week, so here’s a blog to match!
This General Election is undoubtedly the most complex, open and closely contested we’ve ever had. There aren’t two or even three main parties anymore; there are now seven vying for the limelight. The individual parties are struggling to stand out and to stand for something, and confusion reigns. It is against this backdrop which I believe the BBC deserves particular credit for two specific elements of their branded coverage of the election:
Firstly, their election identity, which beautifully captures the unique complexity of the choice that we are faced with this time around:
Secondly, their campaign line: “Making it Clear”, which acts as a mission statement for the BBC’s election campaign coverage and perfectly cuts through to the heart of what the general populous is looking for (and the core benefit of following the BBC’s coverage): clarification of the muddy political waters, in order to help guide your X-marking hand.
Turning back to the parties themselves briefly, there is much to deride and very little to celebrate in this snapshot of their election brand messages. It’s hard to believe that anyone professionally involved in the art and science of branding and communication has been involved: from the predictably spirited and worded “unity and national strength” messages coming from each of the country-focused parties, to the totally unemotive and meaningless genericism coming from the (traditionally) ‘Big 3’.
In the 2010 election, at 15.9 million, the number of people that were eligible to vote, but then didn’t actually bother, dwarfed the collective votes for the Tories and Lib Dems, which put them in government. This dearth of creativity doesn’t look set to change any of that and is hardly inspiring, which is what the parties don’t seem to have grasped is required to cut through the political apathy and drive people to the polling stations.
So, who’ll emerge victorious after those of us that have decided to trudge out to vote next Thursday (7th May) have done our duty? Well, that looks to be an absolute lottery according to even the most informed political commentators. But, when it comes to standing up for good old-fashioned branding and communication values, the BBC gets my vote.