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The Great Campaign

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I awoke this morning to hear that David Cameron obviously learned absolutely nothing from Tony Blair. There are many of us who think the Cool Britannia campaign was the moment Blair's administration jumped the shark and lost all credibility, but Cameron certainly isn't one of them if his new 'Great' campaign for Britain is anything to go by.

As toe-curlingly embarrassing as a Kate Winslet acceptance speech, this campaign brings to mind the old adage 'don't tell me your funny, show me' because anyone who feels they have to remind people that Britain is great are obviously starting from the point of view that people don't think it is.

Which given debt, riots, dwindling international and economic influence, union unrest and the perennially laughable attempts of the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football teams to make any kind of impression on the world stage, they can be forgiven for thinking we no longer are.

The real tragedy of this campaign is that there are so many things that are Great about Britain. One of them is our sense of humour and another is our natural self-deprecation, both of which this campaign would have done well to incorporate in spades.

The work's too general and non-specific, and works on a thoroughly outmoded and defunct advertising model of 'if you repeat something often enough and loud enough then people will eventually believe it'.

What a wasted opportunity, because if our creativity is one of the other things that makes us Great, which it surely is, then this brief should have been an opportunity to show the world just how creative we are.

But whilst this campaign looks great and was clearly art directed by someone great, the strategy and writing are most definitely not great.

I think the moment they decided that including shopping as one of the things that makes us great should have been the moment they realized they were flogging a dead horse rather than a great idea.

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