About this blog
A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters
Tagged as “political propaganda”
Saturday, June 24, 2017
British election propaganda campaigns—on billboards and posters—have increasingly emphasized party leaders, rather than issues. Some have said that this is a manifestation of British political marketing becoming more "Americanized" (see my previous post on this development). Image over substance has become more prominent.
Most attention getting is the visually outrageous merger of male and female features on posters.
The first example of this was probably issued by the British Labour Party in 2001. It caricatured Conservative Party opposition leader William Hague sporting Margaret Thatcher's hairdo and earrings. Later, Thatcher's hairstyle appeared a number of times on opposition leaders on posters and billboards.
A recent example of this image-manipulation creativity was produced by the British Liberal Democrats, which featured the face of Nigel Farage (the former leader of the UK Independence Party) wearing women's clothing, a giant pearl necklace, and with Prime Minister Theresa May's hair. The slogan made the Lib Dems's point clear: "Vote her get him." Farage was and is all for "Brexit" (the exit of Britain from the European Union), and the poster attempted to link May with the "UKIP model of Brexit," according to the Liberal Democrats.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the iconic "Hope" poster for Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, has produced some striking anti-Trump posters.
One, titled "Demagogue," was done in collaboration with the band Franz Ferdinand, which wrote and performed a song with the same name. For more on this Orwellian poster, click here.
Recently, Fairey designed three posters, which displayed images of Muslim, Latino, and African-American women—with all the posters using red, white, and blue colors. The most powerful poster, in my opinion, is shown to the right, of a Muslim woman, with a flag hijab, seen looking out at viewers. All three posters were intended to be downloaded and printed for protesters at the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington, DC. For more on Fairey's recent posters, click here.
Fairey, who created a tee-shirt design for Bernie Sanders in the past election cycle, did not design anything in support of Hillary Clinton, who beat Sanders for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 2016, although he did say he would vote for her.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Ron Keas has produced what he proclaims to be the "world's first political campaign poster in 3-D." And it promotes the re-election of President Barack Obama.
It incorporates his oil painting of Obama and adds the Lincoln Memorial and one of the President's campaign slogans, "Forward."
With special glasses (available for purchase on Keas's Web site), you will see the effects.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
In the coming 2012 U.S. presidential election, it is likely that several minor political parties will run candidates. The Libertarian Party will probably nominate Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, as its candidate, and Americans Elect, may have Buddy Roemer, a former governor of Louisiana, heading its ticket.
Minor parties have been around for a long time in the United States. And they have sometimes had an impact on elections and policies.
In this blog post, I'll focus on the two minor parties in the 1888 election and one in 1892. They all issued interesting posters, too.
The Prohibition Party, which had been established in 1869 to pressure state legislatures to ban “the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages,” had done poorly in four prior presidential elections, getting less than 1.5 percent of the popular votes in each of them. It did a little better in 1888, with its ticket, headed by Temperance leader Clinton Fisk, receiving 2.2 percent. One of its posters illustrated the party’s moralistic principles in a unique way, suggesting that prohibition would lead to a better, religious America (an insane asylum, grave, and distilleries are seen in the foreground; a church and Sunday school in the background). Although the Prohibition Party did not gain many votes nationally, it did influence state party platforms, and eventually helped encourage support for the Twenty-first Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
The Union Labor Party was formed in 1888, and got only 1.3 percent of the popular vote, doing best in states with few industrial areas, most notably Kansas (11.4 percent), Texas (8.2 percent), and Arkansas (6.8 percent). Its platform attempted to appeal to both American farmers and laborers by opposing land monopoly and calling for a limitation on land ownership, nationalization of communication and transportation systems, the free coinage of silver, equal pay for men and women (as well as demanding women’s suffrage), a service pension bill, a graduated income tax, the direct election of U. S. senators, strict enforcement of laws prohibiting the importation of foreign workers, and the passage of specific legislation to prohibit immigrants from China. The poster for the Union Labor ticket (shown above), headed by Alson Streeter, was beautifully done by the Chicago firm of Kurz & Allison, and obviously targeted laborers and farmers—showing them, their implements, and featuring the slogan, "The Product of Labor Belongs to the Producer."
The People’s (or Populist) Party (established in 1891) did quite well. It made many of the same proposals that had been in the Union Labor Party’s platform in the previous election, and issued conventional posters (with symbols of workers and the slogan "Equal Rights to All; Special Privileges to None"), but its ticket, led by James Weaver, was more successful in delivering its message, getting 8.5 percent of the popular vote (and 5 percent of the electoral vote), probably due to the increased economic difficulties of many farmers. Its fiery platform charged that governmental policies had “bred” “two great classes—tramps and millionaires,” with “the fruits of the toil of millions…badly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few….” In 1896, the Populists nominated the Democratic Party's candidate, William Jennings Bryan (who espoused many of their principles).
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Sharron Angle, Marco Rubio, Christine O'Donnell, Joe Miller, Ken Buck, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, and Mike Lee—to name a few. These candidates are all supported by various Tea Party groups. All are Republicans and they are running for U.S. Senate seats in this November's elections. And all are ahead in the polls, or at least have a good chance of winning (except O'Donnell). At present, The FiveThirtyEight blog forecast gives the Republicans an 18 percent chance of gaining control of the Senate, picking up 7 seats (but not the 10 they need). But if the more enthusiastic anti-big-government independents, Tea-Party people, and Republicans turn out in droves, Republican candidates could win three additional Senate seats in Illinois, California, and West Virginia. In addition, there are well over 100 candidates for the House of Representatives who are supported by the Tea Party. FiveThirtyEight estimates that there is an 73 percent probability that the Republicans will take over the House, increasing the number of seats they hold by 48.
The Tea Party Republican candidates are running as "Washington outsiders" in a year when many voters are more negative about those in the nation's capital than usual—especially about the Democrats, who have been in charge in Congress for more than three years now. The Republicans are viewed negatively as well, but a bit less so, and there is some hope that they may spend and tax less—although many GOP representatives have not vowed to stop earmarking. Other groups are allied with various Tea Party organizations. For example, members of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform have demonstrated with Los Angeles Tea Party members in support of Arizona's immigration law. Besides immigration, other issues that concern most Tea Partiers are the mushrooming national debt, the stimulus package, health care legislation, cap-and-trade proposals, tax hikes, government regulation, and a less-than-strict interpretation of the Constitution.
The Tea Party posters—many of which are homemade—are numerous, and include slogans such as "Oh Yes We Can Vote You Out!" and "What the Hell Are You Doing With My Money?" The more professional-looking posters state things like "Less Government. More Freedom" and "Give Me Liberty...Not Debt!"