What’s the point of political slogans?

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Picture of Ryan Giggs

Hot on the heels of my post about straplines, here’s a BBC News online article speculating on the sound-bite Cameron will use to close the Tory conference.

As with straplines, a lot of thought and care has to go into political party soundbites. Yeah, I know. Hard to believe when you hear some of them. Some sound as though they’ve been scribbled on an expenses chit in the back of a limo, on the way back to that second home. Others reek of a slick advertising agency.

No matter how much effort goes into them, politicians’ sound-bites always end up sounding like empty rhetoric. Perhaps because that’s exactly what they are.

The BBC article makes a very good point about the influence of the internet and in particular, Twitter, on the length of future sound-bites. Twitter forces users to write their Tweet in 140 characters or fewer. A challenge indeed for verbose politicians.

Sound-bites and slogans have been getting shorter for the last few years. Compare Labour’s 1997 slogan – New Labour: Because Britain deserves better’ to the 2005 slogan ‘Forward, Not Back’. As the BBC report says, the latter makes the former sound ‘like an essay’. Both are equally empty as it turns out. And that’s the thing about slogans, political or corporate, the last thing you want is one that comes back and bites you on the bum at some future date.

I love the suggestions for a new Conservation slogan in the comments below the article. Why not have a go at making up your own? You never, know, you could see it up there in lights come the next election!

And the picture of Ryan Giggs? Sorry but I just couldn’t face having a picture of David Cameron on my website.

VW Blue Motion ad makes me green with envy – a great illustration of clear, simple, but creative copy | Does your CV get you noticed?

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Hello. I'm Elaine, I'm a copywriter and this is my blog.

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