How interesting to read both George Pitcher’s and Sean Brierley’s articles (MW last week). I say interesting because both addressed the issue of negative campaigning, yet took very different sides of the fence. While I understand Pitcher’s point of view, I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with Brierley – the power of negative thought is indeed very strong.
Brierley very rightly stated that more often than not, the Tories have been elected to power through the public’s “fear of the Left”. Although Pitcher may not agree with negative campaigns they are very effective and it is a fact that, by pointing to the failings of the Tories, New Labour was able to convince voters (or at least those that turned up) that it would be foolhardy to vote Conservative.
Not only are negative campaigns seemingly very effective they but they make consumers think and often bring a smile to their faces. Personally I loved the mock movie posters that were part of New Labour’s negative campaign. They were upbeat and humorous, and made me chuckle more than once. The Tories copycat versions were way off the mark and missed the humour angle completely. A missed opportunity again. The negative ads that appealed to me the most, however, were Ryan Air’s ads knocking British Airways. Once again a brilliant idea, especially when what was stated was so true, and how worthwhile to see BA lose their court battle to ban the ads.
I say negative campaigning works well and brings a much-needed smile to the face of the consumer.