经济学人:政治宣传 海报其实很无能
日期:2015-08-19 17:08



Political advertising
Posters aren't working
The pros and cons of Britain's favourite political campaign tactic
“WHO really runs this country?” UKIP poses that question on a poster that is part of its campaign for next month's European elections. The illustration—the EU's golden stars burning through the British union flag—provides the answer. It does not have the ring of the Tories' “Labour isn't working” billboard, which helped elect Margaret Thatcher in 1979. But the tactic is similar: blanket the country with posters and let the votes roll in. They will be visible from the moon, promises Paul Sykes, a tycoon who is paying for them.

The only form of political advertising allowed on British television is the party political broadcast—stilted affairs watched by few. So politicians spread the word with leaflets, posters and junk mail. In 2010 they spent 7m on outdoor advertising, nearly a third of total political ad spending, according to Nielsen, a market-research firm. Scottish nationalists, flush with cash from a lottery-winning couple, will do battle by billboard in the run-up to this September's independence vote.
Is this wise? For most products, outdoor advertising is “the worst-performing of all offline media”, says Ian Fermor of Ebiquity, a company that measures such things. Defenders of the medium say this ignores the potential for longer-term brand building. But parties increasingly take Ebiquity's view. Labour will focus its spending on grassroots organising in the 2015 election, says Marcus Roberts of the Fabian Society. The effect on voter turnout of any kind of print advertising, including posters, is “hardly measurable”, he says. Only the Conservatives spent much on outdoor advertising in 2010.
Still, posters might be better at selling politicians than soap. They can pack an emotional punch: think of the Tories' 1979 dole queue and Labour's 2001 mashup of William Hague's face and Margaret Thatcher's bouffant. If you're after voters in specific places, posters are your medium. A Conservative campaign in 2010 won an industry award for “best use of roadside”. Posters are especially good for a party—like the Conservatives—short of youthful activists to stuff letterboxes.
The real target audience for billboards is journalists, argues Benedict Pringle, a blogger and ad man: “They are almost six-metre-high, full-colour press releases.” When they work, the message gets to voters indirectly, via newspapers (including this one) and TV. Yet a campaign need not be visible from space. Affixing a poster to a van and driving it round London will do. If that was UKIP's plan it has, expensively, succeeded.
某博主兼广告人本尼迪克·普林格尔称,广告牌真正的受众是记者,他说“广告牌近6米高,颜色非常鲜艳”。当广告牌起作用的时候,选民通过报纸和电视获取消息就不那么直接了。所以竞选活动不必都能从太空中就能看见。只要在小货车上贴一张海报,然后绕城跑就可以了。如果那就是独立党的计划,虽然昂贵但却收效颇大。翻译 周雨晴 校对 王化起



1.pay for 付款;支付

例句:I have had to pay for repairs to the house.

2.spread with 蔓延

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3.flush with 因…脸红

例句:His face flushed with anger.

4.according to 根据;按照;依照

例句:The route that the boatmen choose varies according to the water level.