Shearer needs a sweater vest

If David Shearer is looking for some cut through as he tours the pubs and clubs this summer perhaps he might like to take a elaf out of Stephen Harper’s book and buy himself a sweater vest:

The 2008 Canadian Federal Election will probably be remembered most for the blue sweater that Prime Minister Stephen Harper wore in a series of commercials that Reason Partners created.

The campaign was created to address the political opposition and media portrayal of Mr. Harper being “scary, cold and aloof” and at the same time attract more female votes.

The series of commercials worked right from the beginning, as the idea went massively viral.

It was mentioned in a pop song by the Barenaked Ladies, Billy Talent and K-OS. It was lampooned by comedians on and off the air. It was written about by fashion consultants. There were popular YouTube parodies. Not to mention, that it dwarfed all the other political parties ads combined on YouTube. It directly affected the sales of sweater vests in Canada. And it was the reference point for most media coverage during the election, including the NY Times and LA times.

Blue Sweater Campaign – Stand For Something from Reason Partners on Vimeo.

It was integrated everywhere and into everything, including the Prime Minister’s campaign jet, nick-named the ‘Sweater Vest Jet’ by the media.

Perhaps the most memorable line during the English language debate was when the NDP’s Jack Layton said, “Where’s your platform Mr. Harper? Under the sweater?” Funny. But even funnier, as the CBC’s Rosemary Barton noted later in the campaign, “Jack Layton is now wearing a blue sweater.” And that, “Layton, pushing his bid to be Prime Minister this time round, is actually taking a page from the PM’s playbook. After a week away, one wonders if a sweater will ever just be a sweater again.” It was also noted that the Liberals, Stephane Dion and the Green Party’s Elizabeth May followed suit, err, sweater vest, as they both started wearing one in their respective party’s colour.

I might just work for David Shearer, he strikes me as a sweater vest type of guy.

Do you want:

  • ad-free access?
  • access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • access to Incite Politics magazine articles?

Silver subscriptions and above go in the draw to win a $500 prize to be drawn at the end of March.

Not yet one of our awesome subscribers? Click Here and join us.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.