Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The image thing

Here is something interesting, left is the traditional image we see of David Cameron, the politician in suit and tie usually facing the camera directly. It offers the impression of being in business, working in the traditional dress of the politician. It can be a symbol of power and status; though of course not all those in positions of power or those with status wear a suit there is a certain symbolic quality in the suit as a mode of attire. But David Cameron seems to be shifting his image somewhat. Accompanying his statement on the economy is a less than traditional image (right). He is in casual dress, offering a side profile. To me it is the pose of a catalogue model and breaks a range of conventions. The look is perhaps thoughtful. He is clearly not wearing a shirt and tie, it looks more like a fleece. Equally there is the backdrop to the image. Tradition is the symbols of power, the Houses of Westminster for example. This backdrop is blurred and hard to interpret, it could be an industrial or city vista, it could be anything. Now this could be read as a huge mistake. That while this may be appropriate for a less formal message, it perhaps conveys the wrong connotations when accompanying a serious message on the economy. Alternatively it may be a subtle message that he does not have follow dress conventions to be seen as a politician, rather he can break those conventions and look like the modern man who does not have to conform but can dress smart/casual but still be taken seriously. As ever this can be decoded different depending on the reader, and may be largely ignored by many; however it it clearly a choice to offer this less formal and more casual image to visitors to the party website.

1 comment:

Matt Hurst said...

It looks like they've caught him out doing his shopping or something.

He's been pictured many a time on his bike, so i don't think it's that different from the usual Cameron publicity shots.

Plus didn't a certain bloke called Tony do this alot.