Time to raise interest rates among voters

And they’re off. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown triggered the 6 May election we all knew was coming. To mark the beginning of the campaign, we’ve brought you something of an Election Special.

We’ve tried to provide a range of views on a variety of issues. But perhaps the election analysis in these pages that would most frustrate Brown, Cameron and Clegg is that of Neil Dudley who comments on page 6. The message he left on MarketingWeek.co.uk should not be ignored: “Marmite have (sic) launched a campaign that plays on interest in the up and coming UK general election. The vast majority of my friends have little or no interest in the election and the Marmite campaign is highly unlikely to change that.”

During any general election, there are plenty who consider the election of the next Government nothing to do with them, which is why, according to Richard Madden on page 8, each politician should turn marketing specialist and focus on “motivating only the committed”.

“Plenty think the general election has nothing to do with them, which is why politicians should turn marketing specialist and focus on motivating only the committed”

However, certain novelty elements of the 2010 election may spark interest and participation in those who previously might not have cared. The fact that the election is likely to be so close, the fact that the Liberal Democrats might actually have a bearing on the eventual outcome (after some exciting rounds of horse-trading unseen in the UK for generations), the fact that we’ll be able to watch party leaders slug it out in three separate US Presidential election-style debates; the fact that the supermarkets have become key marginals (read Ruth Mortimer on page 11), all these factors could make the election more “watchable” to the sizeable minority of citizens that didn’t turn out to vote in 2005.

We get a personal view of the changes that Barack Obama’s own US Presidential campaign brought to future electioneering from his digital strategist Joe Rospars. That’s on page 18 as part of our cover feature that also provides advice to all of the party leaders on what perceived character traits each one needs to add to his public image to win this election.

Four weeks to go. Outdoor marketing has already become a major player in the campaign as we witness spoofs of spoofs of spoofs being created daily. Television and direct marketing will also play significant parts but it might be YouTube and Facebook, highlighting every landed punch and unfortunate gaffe, that sort the winners from the losers on 6 May.

Mark Choueke, editor

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