Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slogans, Logos, and Thoughts: 1. Cam Broten

Despite what the title of the post might say, this is not going to be a close examination of the nuances of the campaigns; rather, as promised, this is going to be a very base look at the banalities of the campaigns. By banalities, I refer to slogans, logos, and other campaign tools that are used to reach out to voters quickly.

I want to preface this with one of my standard boilerplate warnings; I'm not a professional 'ad man', I've only got my knee-jerk reactions to these, but as a voter, I think it's still good to acknowledge what catches the eye and repeats on the brain.

We'll do this alphabetically by first name. Since these can get long winded, we'll break them into different posts.

Cam Broten

Slogan: Proven, Principled, Ready

Initial Thoughts: One of the problems with this current leadership race is the fact that all of the campaigns are pretty close slogan-wise. Cam and Erin both use the three word 'punch' slogan, and even both of them use the word principled. And then you have Ryan and Trent both using the word Together; so, a lot of commonalities. One wonders whether the behind the scenes machines are working on churning out any newer slogans to slowly replace the ones currently in the race; if so, hopefully they can avoid stepping too close to another campaign's.

As for the slogan itself, I think it does hammer down Cam's campaign pretty well.It gets the three main facts Cam wants you to know about him quickly, and sticks to a number of buzzwords that are ubiquitous enough that you want to research them. Take "Proven", for example. If you don't know much about Cam's experience in the legislature, you might look into just how well proven fits to his campaign.

The slogan effectively challenges the hearer/reader to do more research on Cam; and the more they do, the more they're likely going to like what they find, and see that the slogan is telling the truth.


Initial Thoughts: Thankfully, unlike the slogans, the logos tend to be quite a bit different. Now, I must admit that I have some ignorance here. I don't believe Cam or his campaign have quite explained the meaning behind the logo above, but I will attempt to derive meaning from it if the campaign hasn't put that out yet. There's a number of meanings one could glean from this logo, and I think we'll talk about three of them.

The first is "seeing the forest for the trees". That's an old phrase I like, which basically comes down to how we perceive things. Some people will look at a forest and see a forest; others will look at a forest and see the individual trees that make it up. What this seems to be suggesting is that Cam sees a bigger picture for the province, but he also wants us to know that there are individual parts that make up this bigger picture. So, there is an emphasis on looking at the big picture, but remembering that there are smaller things that make the big picture possible in the first place.

The second reading of this would be continue on the thought-line of the first, but identify the pieces. Whether it is supposed to represent the three levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal) working together; or whether it is supposed to be something as wide in scope as community, family, and individuals is also possible.

The third reading of it goes back to the slogan; each piece represents one of the buzzwords, and the combining of those words creates a whole piece. This is probably my least favourite interpretation, if only because it is devoid of any real symbolism, but I felt we needed to put it out at at least.

Either way, it is a nuanced logo which is open to interpretation. Whether Cam's campaign steps forward to identify the actual meaning behind it, or if they have and I simply missed it, remains to be seen. There is also the chance they'll just leave it and allow people to draw their own conclusions.

Campaign Approach (Thus Far): 

Cam's campaign approach thus far as been about focusing on telling his own personal story; to approach the race as a person rather than a politician. But at the same time, Cam was the first in the race and the first to release a very comprehensive plan regarding the broad strokes he would undertake as leader and Premier.

Final Thoughts:

Shall we use a rating system, or is that a little to cliched? Also, I suppose it's completely subjective from my point of view...So, let's forgo the rating system and instead focus on the facts. The slogan is alright in that it forces people to do more research on Cam, but the similarity with other campaigns might hamper this. The logo is interesting, and open to interpretation, and might be better left undefined. And the approach taken thus far is a good indicator that Cam's campaign is gunning to be the 'everyman'/'approachable/accessible' candidate in the race.

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