I’m impressed with the Green’s new billboard campaign and I’m pretty certain it’ll work as it is clean and effective marketing and reminds me of the best work that was coming out of Saatchi when they were at the peak of their powers.
One thing about the billboards disquiets me however, and that is that they are too brand aware. It’s an old saw of mine that the political process is becoming too commodified. That politics is being treated too much like an exercise in marketing a product that is related to the voter only in terms of their “purchase” in the polling booth.
The effect of this style of politics is that it treats voters like consumers and consequently disengages voters from partaking in the political process.
As ‘Sod pointed out in his “Brand Key” post this method of engaging voters is extremely effective but unlike ‘Sod I don’t like the implications it has for our democracy and it makes me uncomfortable to see the Greens indulging in it (especially as they have done it so well).
Call me old-fashioned but I don’t believe political participation should begin and end in the polling booth and I think that this kind of marketing works to enforce the idea that it does.
That’s why I’m pleased to see a group like Vote with Both Eyes Open appearing on the scene: it aims to take political action back from the spin doctors and admen and put it in the hands of citizens. I highly recommend people from the left sign up and get involved and if you’re from the right then you might want to consider starting your own version. After all, this democracy is supposed to belong to all of us.