Directwatch: Conservative Party Door-drop

The general election campaign has so far been characterised by petty sniping and character assassination. Where are the big ideas - political or creative? I'll try not to be as negative about the three main political parties' direct marketing as they've been about each other. From a direct marketing agency's point of view, there is one positive trend. It has already been well documented that Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are agreed on one thing: direct marketing gets their vote. As pundits are claiming that the election could be decided by as few as 800,000 citizens - a tiny proportion of the 44m-plus voters who have registered - it makes perfect sense to target floating voters in the swing constituencies.

This may explain the steady stream of pamphlets, mailshots and door-drops through my own letterbox from the three main parties locally, as well as their national headquarters, and some that are probably hybrids. (Nothing yet from the Greens, UKIP or independents.)

Wimbledon was a surprise win for Labour in 1997, but it held on to the seat in 2001 with a majority of 3744. This makes the leafy suburb Number 61 on the Conservatives' list of target seats.

What are its chances? And is its direct marketing going to make the difference?

Well, no, not judging by this door-drop. On the positive side (see, I am trying), when you're fundraising for a political party, it is logical to target those already converted to your cause, hence the anti-Europe and pro-pensioner sentiments. But however you spin it, I am not sure there's much excuse for the impenetrable copy, cheesy mugshot and old-fashioned design.

Are the other parties doing any better? Going by my collection of bumf, no. Some of the photos score less on the Camembert scale. Some of the print has been professionally designed. And the text?

As a copywriter and keen voter, I'm dismayed the parties are so reluctant to engage the public in an adult debate.

For example, in SW19, Labour is petrified that its supporters are drifting to the anti-war Lib Dems.

In theory, this could let the Tories back in. Labour's response? To hector the undecided voter. Not the tone I'd recommend, Tony. Though it will make election night more interesting viewing.


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