A better campaign slogan

Australia is heading for a Federal election next year.

This means a face off-between the Liberal party (think Republicans who believe in universal health care) and the Labor party (think Democrats without quite as many millionaires in office).

A few days ago the Labor party hosted an official unofficial campaign launch where the newly slimmed-down opposition leader Anthony Albanese sported a new pair of Aaron Sorkinesque tortoiseshell glasses and unveiled a barrage of confusing and contradictory policies.

Albanese also unveiled the officially official campaign slogan. Are you sitting down? Okay, here it is in all its glory. ‘A better future.’

How would you describe this slogan? How would anyone describe it? Anodyne. Uninspiring. Flat. Stupid. Tiresome. Boring. Lifeless. Stale. Bland. Tedious. Uninteresting. Cloying. Pedestrian. Monotonous. Weak. Insipid. Drab. Colorless. Bankrupt. Innocuous. Banal. Unimaginative. Vapid. Anemic. Hackneyed. Trite. Inane. Wearisome. Ineffective, Threadbare. Pointless.

Dumb as a bag of hammers and dull as dishwater. A load of sensible codswallop but codswallop all the same. (Despite everyone in the focus group agreeing with the sentiment after a few glasses of white wine.)

Overly researched and watered-down slogans like this fail to inspire and gain traction. It’s almost obscene to call it a slogan. These days a slogan is seen as a catchphrase that appears under a brand logo like ‘Just do it’ for Nike.

The origin of the word slogan is slogorne or war cry, used by Scottish Highland clans to rouse their troops into battle. And rattle their foes. With each clan screaming their own slogan into the fray. (Fierce fighters like the Camerons would scream ‘Sons of the hounds come here and get flesh!’ at fever pitch as they waged carnage.)

How the Labor Party think they’re going to win the next Federal election with the slogan ‘A better future’ in beyond me. It ain’t going to happen.

A better campaign slogan would be ‘A Better Australia.’ Why? Here are a few reasons.

+ More specific (makes it more believable)

+ Reinforces Australian-made messaging (makes it pull double duty)

+ Appeals to what unites both sides of politics (makes it bipartisan)

+ Title caps (makes it more important)

+ Alliterates the ‘a’ and ‘l’ and the vowel sound ‘ee’ of ‘Albanese' (makes it more associative and memorable)

+ Beats the Liberal party to the punch (makes Labor lead)

All rationale aside, there’s an even more critical reason to use a better campaign slogan.

The Liberal party is already running around with a half-twisted slogan from the last Federal election around building for the future. It already owns the word future. For the Labor party to think it can co-opt the word future is ridiculous.

Instead every time the Labor party uses its campaign slogan with the word future in it, it’s just reminding people to vote Liberal.

If the Labor party wants to win the next Federal election, it’s time they used a better slogan.

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