Labour – selling itself as the ugly party
Published: September 14, 2012 at 2:12am
Do you have to be Plain Jane or Dorky Dave to vote Labour? It would seem so.
If Labour is aiming to position its brand in the more glamorous part of the political spectrum, what with Michelle’s Gucci-print boots, jaunts in Asti and tal-pepe hangers-on, Joseph Muscat’s new home page has put a bit of a rocket under all that.
Where did they find all these ‘oh, but they have such a nice personality’ people (see below)?
Did they hold auditions, or what?
Well, we know where they found the one in the top left-hand corner. They rang round to Forum Zghazagh Laburisti and called her in (ghax ghandna bzonn token bjonda).
Anzi ghamlu token ragel suret in-nies u token mara mhux hazin – but otherwise, Labour seems to be promoting Malta as the land where good genes go to die.
And please don’t anybody come back at me with the retort that this is a fair reflection of the Maltese population and that all I have to do is take a walk through some seaside place on a Saturday night.
Aside from the fact that this is not entirely fair because you don’t get a good cross-section of Maltese people out by the sea on a Saturday night, that’s not the point.
Even if the whole of Malta is plain or downright ugly, you don’t use plain people to sell your product.
People are by their very nature aspirational. They want to buy into the kind of thing to which they aspire.
Do I know anyone who is gagging to be associated with the beta crowd, even if they are beta themselves?
No, I do not.
Everybody wants to run with the alphas, even if they are beta. That is the thinking which underpins practically all advertising.
When was the last time you saw a human troll used to sell a car? Or a really plain guy used in anything other than an ironic way to sell something vaguely Wayne’s-Worldish?
Choosing beautiful people for party campaigns fails only if those beautiful people are obviously not Maltese (we can instinctively recognise a Maltese person), because we know for sure that those people won’t be voting Labour or PN because they’re not ‘real’ and they don’t live in Malta, and so that alienates us.
If the beautiful people are Maltese, it works. It certainly works better than asking us to hook up – so to speak – with people who look like they have to beg to get a date, or of whom our grandmothers (well, mine, anyway) might have said, “Well, I’m sure s/he has a very nice character.”
You know, the sort who Americans call ‘homely’.
I just don’t understand this belief which both political parties seem to have that homeliness sells. It really doesn’t.
A German magazine which undertook to use ‘real women’ as models for its fashion pages only saw sales fall even further. It soon realised that its readers don’t want to be shown what they will look like in those clothes, but what they want to look like.
The real women were spiked, and the 0.00001% of the female population brought back on board.
The trouble is finding enough good-looking Maltese people who are not stars of stage, screen, page or catwalk already, and who are willing to feature in a political campaign. That’s the really tough bit. Good-looking people tend to get enough attention already.
The last thing they want is to be poster-boy or poster-girl for a party campaign.