Th!nk About It: laptops, milk or voting in the European election?

This Th!nk About It post can also be read here – as ever, feel free to vote for me!

News flash! The European Parliament has launched its election campaign materials. With unsurprisingly blue results.

It is likely that there’s more hanging on the forthcoming election than ever before (global economic crisis/EU expansion/Eurozone problemos) – so let us have a quick look at what the EU thinks sells the EU.

The brief presented to advertising company Scholz & Friends (I love the “& Friends”) was: “to draw the voters’ attention to the elections’ relevance for their own personal life and to encourage 375 Million European citizens to vote”. No, I don’t envy them their job either.

Pray tell, then; what exactly have the powers-that-be decided will encourage us to vote in June?

Chicken packaging, apparently.

(All graphics: Scholz & Friends)

(All graphics: Scholz & Friends)

And plugs.

plugs

Thankfully, though, it doesn’t end there -there is more to life than chicken packaging and plugs and the EU know it.

There’s also the eternal dilemma of laptops vs milk.

laptop

And books or satellites or tractors.

tractors

I concede here I am being a tad harsh. At least the issues these last two images are supposed to represent (balancing family and career and investment in education/farming/technology) are important, even if not done justice by the reductionist nature of the photographs.

Other issues that the EU feel will spur us to vote – as far as I can tell from the often obscure graphics – include security, genetic modification, fuel, energy and border control. And the economic crisis, let us not forget the economic crisis.

Unfortunately, it is all too easy to forget the economic crisis whilst perusing the campaign materials – for it is given as much prevalence as chicken packaging (one billboard in twelve).

Scholz’s friends have, I fear, let him down.

Surely, when considering what is going to encourage  375 million European citizens to vote this would be the main – perhaps the only issue – to plaster across billboards throughout the continent. For now at least, I think it’s fair to predict that the standardisation of plugs is the last worry on most peoples’ minds. I fear it is unlikely to spur one EU citizen to vote, let alone the other 374,999,999.

Yet again, I regret to say, the EU has let itself down when it comes publicising its – often hugely valuable -purpose. Capitalising (almost a pun!) on the economic crisis, and the EU’s ability to actually do something about it, had the potential to inspire millions to vote in an election they didn’t even know existed last year.

Instead, these millions of EU citizens are likely to spend the run up to June wondering whether they prefer milk or laptops, and whose great idea it was to reduce the economic crisis to a photo of a lion and a cat. (Oh, Scholz.)

lion

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1 comment so far

  1. dan2009 on

    it seems like you didn’t get the idea of the campaign…

    in what other way you want to present these – partly highly complex – topics to 375 million people in 27 countries speaking 22 different languages and coming from different cultural backgrouds if not by pointed illustrations?

    i think that the main idea (that by voting you can choose between different options for the future) comes along very well by showing two extrem options in the context of a more or less provoking question.

    and maybe that is supposed to be the main point of the campaign: that you first of all realise that the work of the european parliament actually has to do something with your everyday-life and that you start to think more about some of the presented topics. standardisation is not limited to plugs at all, it can also relate to questions of regulating our different media markets for example.

    at least i think that activating peoples brains would be a huge win – no matter how many of them will vote in june or not!


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