Positioning lines capture the imagination and once a potential client is sold on one, the business is pretty much yours. Convincing a nation though, well that’s a tougher ask.

Slogans. I love them.

I love writing them. There is something really satisfying in summarising the musings of my very clever Planning Director into one strapline.

I also love politics and many a slogan has adorned a party conference stage or lectern over the years.

When people ask me my favourite strategy or campaign I don’t answer Nike, Guinness or the usual suspects, I say ‘New Labour’. For if there was ever a strategic masterplan aimed at changing perception, that was model thinking from Smith, Mandelson and Beckett (put that way, it sounds like an agency). Political slogans fascinate me and usually fall into two camps. Either seeking to unite or claiming the highground over ‘the other lot’.

Everyone remembers ‘Labour isn’t working’ from the Thatcher stable – the result of Maggie’s unflinching respect and trust in the Saatchi siblings and Tim Bell. Sometimes it gets personal and seeks to demonise or “Demon eyes’ – in the case of the Conservative negative campaign designed to out Tony Blairs more darker side.


A billboard reading ‘Labour Isn’t Working’, a Conservative Party run advertising campaign designed by the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency for the 1979 general election, 11th August 1978. (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


Now and again however, they do buck the trend.

A few years ago, Michael Howard’s ill-fated general election campaign for the Conservatives asked voters ‘Are you thinking what we’re thinking?’.

Deliberately ambiguous and admittedly very different to the usual bland ‘we are the answer’ type offering, critics quizzed exactly what it was voters were supposed to be thinking. To me it was designed to align and link common sense thinking between party and electorate but actually went on to realise quite the opposite.

Many interpreted the slogan as sneery, curtain twitching and Daily Mail like – divisive even in its connotation. Alas, Howard didn’t go on to win at the polls.

More recently, Trump adopted ‘Make America Great Again’ which is increasingly being re-interpreted as ‘Make America Grate Again’. What you can’t doubt is its power over the great disenchanted versus Hilary’s message of bland ‘togetherness’.

With two months to go to French Presidential elections, Marine Le Pen has adopted ‘In the name of the people’ which is ironic given her endlessly xenophobic policies.

At One Black Bear party headquarters, we seek to capture the very essence of not just what your brand is now, but what it strives to be. Not just pithy, hollow words but solid, strategic communication foundations of which everything else is built on.

That approach seems to be winning over lots of people so why not join the party?