Monday, August 13, 2007

Re-branding the Government

After eighteen months in power, Canadians are getting a little tired of "Canada’s New Government." The slogan that originally helped contrast the new Conservative government with the just-defeated Liberals has now worn out its welcome.

Apparently the Tories are aware of the problem and have secretly engaged focus groups to test out some brand new slogans. Seldom reliable sources have leaked the following results of those marketing tests:

Canada’s Right Government
Initially this slogan tested well by yielding a strong image of a government committed to doing the right thing. But as focus groups spent more time examining the phrase, they eventually started associating it with a small-c conservative, right-of-center government. Apparently not the way to go for a party looking to achieve majority status.

Canada’s Majority in Waiting
Here’s an expression that succinctly captures the essence of Stephen Harper’s fondest aim: to win a majority government. Unfortunately, though, it also succinctly captures Mr. Harper’s arrogance and contempt for the electorate. Not seen as a good fit on any bumper sticker soon.

Canada’s Same Old Government
Warm, friendly and reassuring, this four-word saying gave focus group participants a nice, secure feeling associated with stability and the maintenance of the status quo. But on further reflection, most of those folks started asking if the slogan meant that whoever was in power was going to govern like the Liberals. Ultimately not a winning phrase.

Canada’s Only Government
Initially, those interviewed liked this one since it suggested strength in the face of weakness and decisiveness instead of the opposition parties’ wimpiness. In the end, however, it seemed that folks didn’t really take to the one-party, dictatorial rule this phrase strongly implies.

Canada’s American Government
Although this candidate garnered full marks for honesty, it didn’t give anyone a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Canada’s Afghan Government
This one was d.o.a.

New Tory
Party functionaries liked this one. It’s short, punchy and suitably vague. Sadly, it didn’t do well with focus groups, perhaps because of its similarity to New Coke.

A Tim Hortons Government
Potential voters were vague as to what this slogan actually meant. But follow-up questions revealed that most got a warm, sugary feeling and their eyes glazed over in contentment. Subject to licensing availability, this one could be a winner.

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