Ad Students Get Tory Vote

An advertising project undertaken by a group of post-graduate advertising students is to be used as part of an election campaign for the Scottish Parliament.

It follows a workshop run for students at Napier University, in Edinburgh, who are the first intake on the university’s MSc Creative Advertising course.

Unhindered by concerns whether their pitch would be taken up or not, they were offered the chance to present their ideas to Scottish Conservatives MSPs, Jamie McGrigor and Murdo Fraser, plus the Party’s deputy campaigns director, Victoria Roberts. McGrigor is MSP for Highlands and Islands, Fraser is deputy leader.

One of their tutors, Susie Henry, is a former board director with London-based advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, the firm behind Tory Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher’s election campaigns during the 1980s.

The result of the presentation is that McGrigor is planning to use some of the students’ designs in his campaign to win Argyll & Bute at May’s elections.

Said Henry: “I knew this would a challenging brief for the students, many of whom freely admitted they were disenchanted with politicians and disinterested in politics. But this sort of thing can happen in an agency and it’s a good learning curve.

“The students did a lot of research, speaking to young people about their perceptions of the Conservative Party and the election issues important to them. They then used this information to create their campaign with a series of ads. The students worked into the night to finalise and rehearse their presentation.”

Added Fraser: “We were very impressed with the quality and professionalism of the presentation. It was as good as we’ve seen from any advertising agency.”

Said McGrigor: “There were some very innovative ideas for posters and advertising both on hoardings and in newspapers, and the students also demonstrated the importance of have a good website for young people.”