May 22 2014 1:00 PM
As I turned out to put in my vote for the Free Surrey candidate (manifesto of tax breaks for coffee shops and houseowners in leafy suburbs), I couldn't help wondering about an issue slightly more central to our business of marketing: why aren't elections branded?
Indirectly, of course, they are traditionally branded by the blue/red/orange/green (and recently yellow & purple) of the major protagonists who loiter menacingly out side the polling station. But what about the election process itself, or the communication process that encourages you to get out there and do your democratic duty? Who is doing this? Do they have a name? What are their values/aims/responsibilities? Why should you trust them?
Do they not need a brand or identity like every other organisation, governmental or otherwise?
The 'POLLING STATION' sign is nice and clear and this is of course the main thing. But it's a bit stark and, well, unbranded.
Does it not need a single HM Government crown logo (as in the Carry On Clones)? The parliamentry portcullis perhaps? Or maybe something zippier like the Highways Agency logo?
And maybe a nice summary tagline: "Making your vote count". "Democratically unopposed since 1649?" "Complete Ballots."
Surely the people doing it want their target audience (ie us) to know who they are and that we can rely on them. So they need to communicate it.
But then again, maybe (and somewhat reassuringly) we don't need a brand. We take it as given that this is an age-old, incorruptible system that has no need to reveal its identity. It simply appears, Brigadoon-style, every few years when the votes are cast and then recedes back into the mist.
I like this idea because, after all, this is what is ultimately happens to most of the people and policies we vote for...