Monday, June 23, 2008

creative classroom with copyranter: Mugabe campaign poster.

(click poster to read)
Though his opponent has quit the race because the reigning despot was basically threatening to kill every person who didn't vote for him, let us still examine Robert Mugabe's plucky-but-ugly campaign poster.
Since present conditions in Zimbabwe suck dirt, Mugabe understandably decided to focus on the past to fire up some patriotism, while also reminding the ungrateful citizenry that it is because of HIM that they've been independent since 1980. However, R-Mug's no idiot; he realizes that the downtrodden people need some assurance that the future is going to be better. And, like any good politician, he addresses this need with a slogan that promises absolutely nothing. But "all good things are possible" is maybe the worst campaign slogan ever recorded. It's even weaker than 2005 NYC mayoral hopeful Freddy Ferrer's. Mugabe might have done better by taking note of the brutally honest slogan used by fellow African autocrat Charles Taylor that got him reelected in a landslide in 1997.
Art direction-wise, the layout is an absolute mess. I do dig the image of the English colonial being lugged around by the enslaved natives, but I would have made it much larger while decreasing the size of the Mugabe photo (which is how old, Robert? Tsk tsk.). I like the "100% Empowerment" call-out, though I would have mimicked American sales circulars and placed it inside a brightly-colored starburst. But the poster's visually torturous—way too much copy, and all the competing typefaces/colors/weights are headache-inducing.
So overall, I give it a D, especially since a subsidiary of Y&R has been assisting Mugabe. previously in political slogans: ANTI-BUSH, PRO-COCK; Nikita Krushchev—"Politicians are the same all over..."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How inspirational that here in Ohio, the State Motto is, "With God, all things are possible." If they ever do manage to run Mugabe out of Zimbabwe, he might consider Ohio.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The style, colours and themes of the poster are very much in keeping with ZANU-PF's posters going back to the mid-1970s.

The "way-too-much-copy" is something Zimbabwean advertisers got from their British forebears. Look at the advertisements in any British weekend magazine supplement and you would think there was a strike of art directors.

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stunning. Really, why does someone so evil, with such an iron grip on the country, even feel the need for advertising?

The ad is reminiscent to me of forgettable late '50s ads - a sort of "breaking out of the grid" mentality, but none of the sophistication. Don't get me started on the printing.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He may but a murderous dictator, but I for one appreciate his use of the serial comma, to wit: "The British came, only to seize land, conquer, and enjoy life on our land at our expense." Lots of dictators would have left out the comma after 'conquer,' but not Mugabe.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kamper: Robert Mugabe has 5 or 6 university degrees in various subjects (most of which he obtained as a correspondence student from the University of London while a prisoner of Ian Smith), although I doubt that Comrade Bob himself approved the copy.

He is also quite an orator -- I have heard him speak in both English and chiShona (although I am not fluent in the latter).

6:29 PM  

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