Monday, 23 November 2009

Jedward - Labour and Conservatives jump on the bandwagon with X Factor themed political ads

Last night (the magnificent) Jedward were voted off of the X Factor TV show. I have previously written about how the impact of the X Factor show has produced an echo and reached out far wider than the TV set - with enormous discussion being prompted on social sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Another indication of the X Factor / Jedward impact can be seen with the latest UK political campaigning - both Labour and Conservative parties have produced political posters parodying the twins.

Labour were first with David Cameron and George Osbourne's faces photoshopped onto Jedward bodies:

Jedward Labour poster David Cameron George OsbourneLabour Jedward poster - Cameron and Osbourne as the twins

The Jedward Labour poster strapline being 'You Won't Be Laughing If They Win' and further qualification on the Labour website: 'This week David Cameron announced that John and Edward are his favourites to win X-Factor. It’s hardly surprising. David Cameron and George Osborne are the Jedward of politics. Hilarious to watch. All spin and no substance. But you won’t be laughing if they win.'

Then, 5 minutes after the Jedward eviction was announced, the Conservative party started running a Jedward poster on digital sites featuring Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, again faces photoshopped onto Jedward bodies:

Conservative ad Jedward theme Gordon Brown Alistair Darling DeadwoodJedward themed Conservative poster: Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling as 'Deadwood'

The Conservative strapline being 'Jedward are gone, but we're still left with Deadwood.'

For all their sins, in our house Jedward's performance was the one we most looked forward too. The Labour poster with the strapline 'you won't be laughing if they win', goes against the feeling in our household, whilst the Conservative poster expresses no opinion on Jedward's talent (or perceived lack of) - the message is focussed on Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. (The Conservative message also seems to be co-ordinated with the headline on today's Sun which also uses the phrase 'Deadwood.')

So who benefits most - the Conservatives through having a neutral Jedward message, Labour for being the first to go down the Jedward route or the Liberal Democrats for not getting involved?

Political parties jumping on the Jedward band wagon can be viewed in a number of ways:

1) a case study for the influence exerted by primetime TV
2) evidence of a tactical nous / social radar whereby parties are able to harness topical events for potential political gain (note, this can also be considered a 'cynical manipulation' of topical events for political gain)
3) an indictment of the dumbing down of UK politics 'forget the economy, look at Jedward, they are like them...'

If this is the way things are going to go then maybe we should forget a general election and just let Dannii Minogue choose the next UK government?

and for the record here is what all the fuss is about, the final performance - Jedward 'No Matter What':

Related posts

X Factor - the ultimate in socialised TV?

Jedward, Calvin Harris, pineapples and TwitPic

Jeff Buckley 'Hallelujah' - social media for Christmas Number One?

Malcolm Middleton and Lucky Soul - Web 2.0 vs X Factor for Christmas Number One?

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