Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ken borrows from Barack

Blue State Digital will run Ken Livingstone's Internet campaign, the Internet firm behind Barack Obama, for the mayoral election and last night launched the first campaign video on YouTube. The video (below) is very simple in design, featuring still shots of Livingstone with ordinary Londoners accompanied by voice overs offering endorsements from those same ordinary people. The idea, according to Thomas Gensemer, the US firm's managing director, is to position Ken in the same way as Obama as an ordinary person; differentiating him from Boris Johnson the old Etonian (perhaps linking into the Labour strategy of referring to him as Mr Johnson and not Boris).

This video complements a series of vox pops with Londoners saying how great London is to live and work in, all of which appear on Ken's Youtube site (an example of which is below), he has also used the site to attack Boris Johnson's negativity and highlighting his own positivity.

The key message is to reinforce Ken's authenticity as a Londoner, something that won him power against the odds in 2000; but the important bit is not him saying that but real Londoners endorsing him as the candidate. It is working for Obama as he can claim an outsider status to some extent; can it work for the incumbent?

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