Campaign Messages and Slogans from Germany

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How a Slogan and Campaign Message can work together:
German Greens, national election campaign of 2002
Bündnis 90/Die GrünenThis was the first national election since the German Greens, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, had entered into coalition with the Social Democrats in 1998. The first years of government had been difficult: the coalition had a rough start, the war in Kosovo led to harsh internal fighting within the party, and a section of the voter base was disappointed by the compromises the party was forced to make in government. But there had been great successes, too: the nuclear phase-out, a highly reputed Renewable Energy Resources Act, and modern legislation on citizenship and immigration, gay marriage, consumer protection, and the promotion of organic farming.

The most important communication target of the 2002 campaign was to highlight these successes and argue that the stronger the Greens would be in the election, the stronger they would become in the next government, enabling them to further the reforms of the first term. The main opponent was the Bavarian Edmund Stoiber, the conservative candidate for Chancellor. Stoiber wanted a major roll-back to a more conservative society, and he supported Germany’s participation in the war in Iraq.  

Hence, the message of the Green campaign was:        

Outside minister - inside green

Outside minister - inside green

“The Greens have achieved a lot in government, but by no means are finished! We have successfully introduced a nuclear phase-out, gay marriage, a new law on citizenship, more renewables and more consumer rights. To deepen and perpetuate these environmental and social reforms, we want to continue the coalition with the Social Democrats for another four years – as an even stronger green partner. Edmund Stoiber wants to send our country back to the 20th century. The policy he proposes is reactionary, cold-hearted and blind to environmental concerns. And he wants to send our troops to a war in Iraq!      

If you want our country to stay on the path of social and environmental reform, and if you want Joschka Fischer to remain our foreign minister, vote Green on 27 September!”  

This claim was condensed into the slogan: “Grün wirkt” (“Green works”), which became one of the most successful political slogans of recent decades. See how Joschka Fischer himself interpreted the message in his personal story for the campaign TV spot of 2002 (in German).       

See also the Campaign Handbook Chapters:
–  Developing Messages
European Topics in a Campaign: the French Example


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