The nasty party’s back and this time it’s personal

So the gloves are off and the Conservatives have ditched the sunshine rhetoric to reconnect with their inner ‘nasty party’.

Yesterday they unveiled a set of sarcastic attack posters highlighting Labour’s supposed failings next to a grinning Gordon Brown saying: ‘Vote for me’.

This sort of highly personalised campaign, the first major work by M&C Saatchi, is probably their best line of fire. Voters don’t like Brown so it’s worth hammering home that a vote for Labour means five more years of Gord. Also, with no Obama-style hunger for David Cameron there’s less to be gained by sticking his mug on a billboard.

This latest campaign is simple (were Euro RSCG really unable to come up with this sort of thing?), but will it be effective? In this post-expenses scandal era, politicians are such a turn-off that people may not even bother to read the copy and get the joke.

But then again it does provide people who don’t like Brown with some much-needed spoofing fodder. They were never going to get this from Labour – such is the unpopularity of the PM that using his image in a massive above-the-line campaign would be counter-productive. Hence Labour’s yawn-fest stuff around ‘A future fair for all’, which now has its own logo. Maybe things will get a bit more exciting when we see the result of its user-generated ads.

One last point on yesterday’s campaign, isn’t the Brown pic the Tories used far too flattering? Where have the bags under his eyes and the dark shadows gone?

Perhaps they’ve been at it with the airbrush again…