What is in a slogan?
So, the Conservatives will fight the election under the slogan ‘Vote for a Change’. This is a bad slogan; it’s dull, uninspiring and encapsulates the essential negativity of the Conservative approach. Contrast this with the Labour slogan of 1997 ‘Things can only get better’ and you can see how badly advised David Cameron is. This slogan resisted the lure of negativity and opted for a positive message which resonated with the electorate and shaped the negative rejection of the Major government into a positive desire for change and a Labour government.
It’s not all Cameron’s fault; it’s hard to make a ‘Conservative’ party sound like a radical force for change. Labour are much better positioned to be seen as a party of natural change. However, this new slogan will make more people wonder what kind of change they will be getting under the Conservatives and this is another reason it’s a bad choice. It makes the party vulnerable to attack on the level it has no positive vision and/or it as a party hasnt changed.
What about a ‘future fair for all’, the Labour offering? Leaving aside the embarrassment of it clearly being used before I find this one also a bit bland (similarly, I feel the same way about the Liberal Democrats who also will be using ‘fairness’). Fairness is an amorphous and relative concept and therefore is a tricky sell in a slogan. Since it means so many different things to so many different people I dont see it quite capturing the imagination.
At least the Labour slogan makes a stab at talking about the future which is one positive thing. However, I felt Labour was onto something with it’s ‘Fighters and Belivers’ camapaign which would have provided a better slogan. The idea of battling through tough times to change things for the better would have resonated with alot of people. Of course, what really matters is the ideas and policies behind the slogans but the importance of a good slogan in a soundbite culture should not be underestimated….