Print Politics

Election Campaign Printing In The Famous Batman / Penguin Contest!

Bulging ballot boxes, Batman!

Whenever there's an election in TV or Movie land, it's always visually represented by tons of campaign printing. This is a really great thing for print designers and campaigners, because it shows us how to properly run a serious, and winning campaign. Take for example, the time Batman ran against Penguin for Mayor of Gotham City…

Penguin seemed to have it all – at first. He was spending a lot of money, and running a high-profile, vaudevillian campaign. He was handing giant, oversized buttons out left and right. And he was printing giant posters, banners, and billboards.



He even bought a CRAZY “Campaign Literature-o-matic” which pumped out squawk automatically.


Penguin had a slick campaign going all right, but his tactics were a little too over the top. For one thing, he printed so many different posters that he had no brand consistency. For another thing, obviously, he was evil, and people saw through the 'new' Penguin. His entire campaign concept was just too all over the place.


Too many colors, too many different print designs. Full color printing is a privilege, Penguin, not a right!

Despite all of Penguin's fancy tactics, Batman won in the election, using a simple print design philosophy that every campaign can use – keep your branding consistent!


Even before he was headed for office, it was Batman all the way – the bat tracer, the batcave, the batmobile, the classic black and yellow logo – it formed a unified package that voters found it easy to identify with.


The only problem the Bat campaign experienced was due to the fact that they were running in the 60s, and full color printing was expensive. For that reason, they occasionally had to break from Batman's usual style to finance their sign printing, and some signage was done simply in black or navy blue on white, with none of the usual batman flair.


In fact, Batman's reluctance to do anything with flair during his campaign almost lost him the election. Straight politics are a nice idea, but communication is key, and that's where the showmanship of ad spending really comes in handy. The lesson? Go ahead and spend money on full color printing and nice design work. Just spend it wisely!

And take Penguin's campaign as a lesson in what not to do. Even though he hired a crack team of campaign managers, they just couldn't defeat Batman's overwhelming brand appeal. And in the end, it was the idea men who were hung out to dry as Penguin ran for his life. Yuk yuk yuk.


Poor campaign managers! They have as much invested in winning the election as the candidates themselves, if not more!

This episode of Batman was brought to my attention by Wonkette. Cheers!

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