With the Election cycle gearing up once again in the United States, and a UK election likely within the next 12 months, now is the perfect time to look back at some of the most memorable Election ad campaigns.

Labour isn’t working

Arguably the most famous British election advert, 1978’s ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ campaign for the Conservative Party by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, was revived when an election was called in 1979 and helped to bring Margaret Thatcher into power.

The headline makes use of some particularly ironic wordplay, whilst the stark image of an extremely long queue outside the unemployment office is certain to invoke an emotional response from audiences who can relate to the struggle for a job.

Prouder, Stronger, Better

‘It’s morning again in America’ were the words that opened this famous ad campaign for President Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984, which ultimately helped to build the legend of President Reagan’s administration as one of the greatest in US history. A clever strategy devised by Hal Riney highlighted the stability and economic progress that America had made under Reagan, simply asking voters – why would they ever want to go back?

For The Many Not The Few

The Labour Party’s ‘For The Many Not The Few’ represents something of a rarity amongst political ad campaign, as the Party lost the 2017 yet undoubtedly had the better campaign. Devised by strategists within the Labour Party, the campaign sought to capitalise on leader Jeremy Corbyn’s reputation as a left-leaning outsider within Parliament by presenting him as a man of the people. The campaign successfully used social media, earning it popularity amongst young people, multiplied using influencers and celebrities.

Yes We Can / Hope

Perhaps the most defining political ad campaign in a generation, Barack Obama’s 2008 run for President wrote the rulebook on campaign communication strategy for the 21st century. Engaging with young people through grassroots movements, the campaign is notable for being the first to really make use of social media. Built on the campaign messages ‘Change We Can Believe In’ and ‘Yes We Can’, the first ad was launched with the iconic ‘Hope’ poster, devised by the artist Shepard Fairey, which featured a stylized image of Obama and a single word in bold beneath (with versions including ’Change’ and ‘Progress’). The poster was popularized on social media, becoming instantly recognizable and sparking hundreds of parodies.

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