Posts Tagged ‘image’

It’s “not flash, just Gordon” redux. And is likely to be even less successful.

25/07/2014, 01:47:16 PM

by Atul Hatwal

It’s been said that he is the son of Brown and today Ed Miliband made a quintessential Brownite move.

His speech on leadership could have been lifted wholesale from Gordon Brown’s back catalogue. In fact, if it wasn’t quite lifted, it was almost certainly written by some of the same hands that crafted Gordon Brown’s attempt to address his image problem.

Back in 2007, Gordon Brown was struggling against a telegenic Conservative leader. Plus ça change. Brown seemed awkward and uncomfortable in his own skin. The response? “Not flash, just Gordon.” Saatchi & Saatchi designed the poster below and the message was clear: substance over style.

Not flash just Gordon

To bolster Gordon’s credentials as a serious but normal kind of guy, his wife was deployed for media opportunities.  A Mirror headline trumpeted in 2008 that she was to be Labour’s “secret weapon.”

Sound familiar?

Fast forward to today and its Ed’s turn to be self-deprecating about his media talents and attack and the emphasis on “photo-opp politics” in contrast to his own sincerity and conviction. And here’s the Huff Post headline for the Justine Thornton interview from 3 days ago, “Could Ed’s wife turn out to be his secret weapon?”

We’ve been here before and we know how this story ends. In fact, its likely to go even less well for Ed than it did for Gordon, for three reasons.

First, Brown was prime minister. Whatever the shortcomings of the politician, the office bestows authority and Gordon Brown’s experience at the top of British politics meant he did have a certain gravitas. The most successful line his team used in this campaign was “no time for a novice.” Not something Ed Miliband can say.

Second, Twitter was not a factor before the last election. It is now. As Ed Miliband delivered his speech, my timeline filled up with his photo-opps, from the 7,000 mile round trip for a photo with president Obama, to this absolute peach from the pasty tax campaign (h/t James Manning),

Photo opp


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The shadcab mini-makeover – It’s not just the party’s policies that are getting refreshed

05/08/2011, 08:00:40 AM

by Atul Hatwal

Step back Gok Wan. Take a break Trinny and Susannah. Competition is on the way.

Although the identity of the new makeover maestro remains secret, what we do know is that they work with the Labour party and they are operating at the highest levels.

A few weeks ago the news section of the Labour Party website got a facelift. But it wasn’t just the site that changed its look. At the same time, a small number of the file photos of Labour’s top team were also miraculously transformed.

Amongst the lucky few, the leader of the Labour Party went through a metamorphosis.

Before the change, Ed Miliband’s manic grin and staring eyes were reminiscent of a crazed teddy bear. The composition of the picture and the stark white background made it look like something from a school year book:

“Ed Miliband, student most likely to join the U.S. postal service”

What a difference a simple snap makes.

In the new picture the grin is gone, the colours are more sobre and the little dab of white in his hair is in shot to lend gravitas. And then there’s the expression. He’s looking the viewer knowingly in eye, measured and focused. It’s an expression that’s strangely familiar.

Ah yes – Blue Steel. (more…)

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