This week we’re running a series featuring five of the most effective political adverts. Today it’s back to the 1970s and the then opposition Conservative Party:
In the summer of 1978 phone calls went out to members of Hendon Young Conservatives, asking them to turn up with their parents at a council car park for a secret project. Partly due to the short notice, less than a fifth of the hoped for 100 volunteers turned up, nearly causing the plans to be cancelled. Instead, some clever trick photography – melding together repeated images of those who did turn up standing in different locations – enabled the creation of the classic political poster: “Labour isn’t working”.
Its impact was dramatic, both for the power of the message and for the novelty – for such political billboard adverts were still new to British politics in the late 1970. Its impact was helped along by the Labour Chancellor, Denis Healey, denouncing it in Parliament. As so often with political adverts, a little bit of controversy made the message go a long way:
You can see all the posts in this series on our Political Ads page – and scroll to the bottom of that page for Luis Fishman’s classic. The stretch from 7 seconds in until 22 seconds in is fairly normal. But as for the rest…