Thursday, January 21, 2010

Was that poster a mistake?

It was only a matter of time before some bright spark put a bit of PHP knowledge together with a blank poster template and created a “we can’t go on like this” poster generator for the photoshopless masses. So take a bow Mr Andy Barefoot and claim responsibility for unleashing 62,757 new posters onto the public.

Mr Barefoot claims not to support Labour or the Conservatives (is he a Lib Dem!) and I think that that’s probably quite true. What’s interesting is that the poster template being used isn’t the heavily airbrushed one being pimped by the Labour Party and friends over at where “amusing”, read as negative, posters are being collected together, and the default poster really does poke fun at both parties.

What’s also interesting is his statistics on what words are being used most. Top of the list on 47.89% of posters is Conservative followed by 17.55% of all posters containing the word Labour. After that the most popular words are all in the “Malcolm Tucker” category as he calls them F**K is on 10.28% of posters S**T on 4.44% of posters and C**T on 4.39%. Eton comes up on 2.12%, not that many really and toff on only 0.97% or 608 posters.

So was it a Mistake?
The big question though is whether or not the poster was a mistake with all this “negative” publicity and a lot of negative versions of it floating around. Personally I don’t think it was, I think that everytime people see a defaced / modified version of it they remember the orriginal and they obviously see David Cameron.

The negative versions of it, especially those at myDavidCameron, obviously appeal to a certain group, a group that, in the main, will never vote Conservative. To someone who isn’t tribally Labour I think they look childish, spiteful and overly negative, if anything they’ll turn people off Labour rather than the Conservatives by their pettyness.

So all in all even a negative version of defaced poster is still a vote winner for us.

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  1. Interesting analysis and I agree. I think that the proliferation of Cameron's picture is actually helping the Conservatives.

  2. Hi Simon, I found your blog when looking through the referrers in my analytics results, so thanks for the link.
    The amount of traffic I've received at the generator did surprise me. Initially I got quite a bit from the myDavidCameron site but soon it took on a life of its own and the majority of the traffic now comes from Facebook and Twitter.
    I'm afraid I disagree with your analysis and feel the poster was a mistake. Not neccesarily because the new negative versions will stop people voting Conservative (I would assume those making the posters and probably those they send them to are unlikely to vote Tory anyway) but because of the reasons that people have found it so amusing to make their own versions in the first place. In my opinion this is because the original was such a vacuous affair. Obviously everyone wants the deficit to be cut and the NHS to be well funded so the poster doesn't do a very good job of differentiating the Conservatives or explaining how they would achieve this. It's a bit like writing "I will create more jobs and catch more criminals". You can't fault it as an idea but it rather lacks credibility without some hint as to how it will be done.
    Hopefully Labour will bring out a similar poster soon and we will see whether a similar application is as succesful.
    One thing I would point out about the stats is that my own default text mentions both Conservatives and Labour and so these figures are bound to be high as people obviously don't always change all the text. I'm happy to expand the stats section to include other words so if you have any ideas let me know.

  3. My david cameron have said they wont be satirising the next tory poster, knowing its had its day. Still, this hasnt the tories from making their own p-poor fake poster sites. What will be next? The posters have already been turned into a 3d game ( and other copy sites are springing up.