Elections in Sweden - the ad campaigns
In Stockholm these past weeks almost all poster sites have been carrying political ads instead of regular ads - today the swedes are voting and tonight we might know who won. While we wait, here's a look back on the political ad campaigning as 2006 seems to be the year of the rhetorical question and headlines that can be read two ways.
A banner for Moderaterna (The Moderate Party) that Miami advertising created and hung along a highway in Gothenburg - it reads "We love workers. But more are needed."
(read more inside)
That translation doesn't really do it justice, the word chosen for "workers" - "knegare" isn't the word you'd ever hear the typical Ivy-League conservative snob use, and the Moderate party is pretty much synonymous with stiff upper lip conservatives. The contrast makes the ad.
The line makes me wonder though, "We love workers, but more are needed"... For what, exactly? What did you do to the old ones? Eat them? ;)
The Feminist Party
On the outside of the establishment there's "Fi", a.k.a Feminist Initiative, a brand new party started by a bunch of former communists and feminists from academia rather than politics. They spent most of the spring picking the wrong battles and arguing about idiotic questions like a parents right to name their daughter a male name. Just in time for the elections they seemed to have gained some composure, and had some fun with their campaigning - though their whole hot pink look makes me gag.
Left headline reads: In Sweden everyone is worth equal.* - * except women who make 4300 SEK less a month than men, despite working just as much."
The headline on the right jokes: "We don't think men should have to go to porn clubs to get dominated."
The Liberal Party
Their posters show "the news of the future" and this particular one has a headline that reads Finally! the Nobel Prize [goes to] Sweden with the sub line "money to research gave results!.
Yeah this is nice, except.. Sweden has won the Nobel Prize before. Plenty of times. Selma Lagerlöf, Verner von Heidenstam, Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Pär Lagerkvist, Nelly Sachs, Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson won the literature prize alone. Oh, you reckon they mean one of those important Nobel prizes like in medicine? Ok, then I'll just name Sune Bergström and Allvar Gullstrand for Physiology or Medicine - Sune as recent as 1982. Or do they mean Chemistry? Svante Arrhenius, Theodor Svedberg, Arne Wilhelm Kaurin Tiselius won it. Physics then? Check, won that too Nils Gustaf Dalén , Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn , Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén and Kai Manne Börje Siegbahn have done us proud.
I'm positive that the writer of this shallow headline will not win any Nobel Prize and neither will his uneducated colleagues at the agency that let this one slip through. Sure, maybe they wanted us to read it as "we'll get more prizes" but the way it is reading it is interpreted as if we never got any prize at all, ever, and honestly it makes the party look like they lived under a rock these past 50 years. People all over the world know who Dag Hammarskjöld is fer crying out loud! Vote for Folkpartiet if you are an uneducated fool and like to hang with your equals. ;)
No, the other parties aren't any better at all in their campaigns, here's a particularly good example.
The Social Democratic party
Their first posters showed the current prime minister and the most media friendly faces of minsiters stating "Everyone shall come along". Great, even when we are going to hell in a handbasket in a economic climate created by the current prime minister for the past 13 years, he's good enough to include us all. Except those ministers who opposed him which he fired and the wives that he got tired of which he replaced with new blood - any other country have a prime minister marry three times during his reign? He's like Henry the eight in more ways than one.
Ok, so after those happy teaser campaigns, these questions are posed: " Shall Sweden become the worlds best country to grow old in? Or should medicine and doctors visits become more expensive and retired people pay more tax than others? On Sunday you decide." and really now, who would want stupid ideas like retirees to pay more tax than others to come true? Nobody, right? A quick look around shows that indeed nobody has suggested the idea. So the Social Democrats tactic is to scare people into voting for them with a hypothetical boogie man. Good call! Tonight we'll know if this tactic worked, and why not, it works so well for other presidents.
The Green Party
I must admit, I really like the look of these posters with the stylish ornery illustrations growing around the edges. The headlines ask rhetorical questions... But then, what do they promise?
"The new file sharing law gave us 1 million new criminals. That law was really necessary. Or?" reads this poster, flirting with all those who might consider voting for "the pirate party". The new file sharing law in Sweden made it illegal to share and make available, copyrighted works such as movies and music over the internet.
I'm not addicted to oil. I can quit anytime I want to. Or? I like the attitude. It's funny, rather unusual in a serious political campaign. But does sarcastically asking questions get people to vote?
Posters not reviewed were the Center parties campaign, the Left party and a whole bunch of the small parties such as anti EU party Junilistan, the anti high taxes party "The tax payers", the neo nazi like party "Swedish Democrats" and the pro free file sharing party "The Pirate Party".
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