Election posters are muted and lacking in creativity

Written by Tara Mulvany

It’s that time of year again when photography, graphic design and carefully crafted slogans are hanging out at a lamp post near you. Despite the fact that every pole in the country is plastered with them, this year’s local and European election posters seem decidedly muted and lacking in creativity and confidence.

At a quick glance, it’s the usual mix of blues, greens with a splash of red. There are more young faces than I’ve ever noticed before, but maybe that’s because I’m getting older. The 12 golden stars of the European flag have taken a back seat and in some cases have been faded out to a mere watermark. For the local election candidates, strong political catch-phrases are few and far between and even party logos aren’t as brazen as they used to be.

It’s the new normal, where face and name recognition take precedence over party allegiance. In some cases party association is a risk to the candidate.   The words ‘Independent’ is featured louder and prouder than ever before. But, while the rhetoric of austerity versus stability is still visible, it has been toned down reflecting a jaded and cynical electorate.

Much research has been done on the power of election posters and their impact on the vote. Just like a brand advertising campaign, they should showcase the product or the candidate, demonstrate confidence, invite trust and allegiance and provide a call to action.

But, most of all they must relate to their target audience and be creative and inspiring enough to gain stand-out and cut-through on the lamp post. Unfortunately, the campaign posters of Election 2014 demonstrate about as little enthusiasm as the Irish people have for another election.

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