It’s a bit off-kilter for me but I’ve decided to dedicate a good chunk of this blog to advertising and in particular the billboard posters political parties use to convince people to vote for them. I’m going to start my thesis with the best poster of all time. It was produced for Maggie by Saatchi & Saatchi, an agency headed by two brothers who were doing quite well before being catapulted into the stratosphere when they landed the Conservative account for the 1979 election. Unleashed on an unsuspecting public 30 years ago the poster helped propel Maggie into power for the next too-many years and turned the Saatchi brothers into advertising geniuses. Maggie went on to destroy British industry (sorry Camla) and Charles went on to marry Nigella Lawson; enough said. Hats off to Saatchi and Saatchi, they managed to persuade my dad and millions like him to vote for a woman. To be fair to my dad’s political allegiances he was a little put off the Liberals at the time by Jeremy Thorpe’s dodgy behaviour.
This time we have got some great posters to enjoy. An air brushed representation of a not very old-looking old Etonian trying to talk to the common man and a Scot doing what they do best. By the way did anyone see the Sky News interview with Sir Alex after his horse won at Aintree? He couldn’t string one word together!
Going back to my friend Cam of Essex fame, he wants to vote for the Conservatives but is now in a total quandary. He didn’t go to public school and he quite likes the idea of someone giving the posh Tory git a friendly slap. As some of our Indian friends are so fond of saying: ‘What to do? For all of you wondering how to go about voting as an overseas resident it’s very easy, just click on the link below and download the form:
To finish my poster story here is my favourite for worst-ever poster. Incredibly it won a prestigious award for Poster of the Year. You’re having a laugh springs to mind.
I suspect the advertising agency responsible for this shocking effort were all secret Labour supporters. Which brings me nicely to my observation about advertising – do you need to believe in what you are advertising? For example if you are the agency for HSBC do you need to believe they are the best bank in the world? At this point I’m going to take the Fifth Amendment and move swiftly on except to say I love the fact that Atom have just picked up Air Miles who last week helped turn our everyday shopping into a new Sony digital camera that was going to cost me AED 1,500.
My favourite local ad campaign of the week was for the Dusit Thani Dubai hotel. A couple of years we did a ‘pay what you want’ campaign for Grand Hyatt ; you went to Andiamo, had a meal and then paid whatever you felt it was worth. Partying Scots put paid to that great idea. This time the Dusit has gone for a different approach. The hotel has launched a quick-bite campaign whereby you pay AED 2 (0.5 USD) for every minute you are in the restaurant. They have obviously never seen the Prosser family demolish Spag Bol in 39 seconds flat. In fact we could take our two Border Terriers along and collectively demolish the buffet for a total cost of AED 12.
Goodness me I’ve just come across the worst, most inappropriate TV ad of all time and it’s brand spanking new. Nike has dug up Tiger’s dad to help sell more trainers – it’s a real shocker.
Finally to finish off here is some very sound advice. If you are thinking of buying an iPad don’t whatever you do buy it in the UAE. The price for the 16GB version quoted in Arabian Business is $1,225. On the Apple US website the same iPad is selling for $629. Quoted, the reseller said the price difference is down to import duties (4%) and delivery costs. They must be flying them in first class with each iPad having its own seat!
Sorry, said finally but I had forgotten about my top fives – best British Prime Ministers ever (I’ve even left one in for Cam). Maggie probably deserves a spot for being the first female PM and being tough enough to face up to the unions, but on the flip side she championed the greed society that led to rich people getting richer and poor people getting poorer.
- Lloyd George
- Winston Churchill
- Clement Attlee
- Benjamin Disraeli
- William Gladstone
By the way for all of you who loved the Gordon Brown poster it was an April Fool in The Guardian!