A Nasa supporter waves the “10 Million Strong” campaign slogan. PHOTO/COURTESY
By PATRICK MAYOYO
Nasa’s “10 Million Strong” campaign slogan has in the recent past received harsh condemnation from Jubilee supporters raising a lot of questions.
While the National Super Alliance (NASA) has come up with its “10 Million Strong –Mbele Pamoja” slogan, Jubilee Party (JP) on the other hand has the “70+1-Tuko Pamoja” slogan.
While Nasa’s slogan is trying to show that it has more than 10 million people ready to vote for it come the August 8 election day, Jubilee’s 70+1 slogan implies that it expects to garner more than 50+1 requisite vote to win the presidential vote.
However, interestingly, the Nasa slogan has received criticism from across-section of Jubilee supporters including Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chairman Francis Ole Kaparo.
Mr Nkaissery has even gone to the extent of asking the media to black out the NASA slogan while Mr Kaparo sees the slogan as a recipe for chaos in the August 8 polls.
But their statements and those of other Jubilee supporters opposed to the Nasa slogan are not only misleading but also diversionary.
Political slogans have always been used by politicians in campaigns and they are seen as ‘vehicles’ that carry their message to the electorate.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on the campaign trail. PHOTO/COURTESY
According to Bruce Newman, a professor of marketing and editor of the Journal of Political Marketing, “campaign slogans are critically important to communicating the essence of a campaign to constituents.”
According to studies, campaign slogans that have done well in presidential campaigns in the past share common themes: they’re timely, simple and memorable.
An American author, columnist, journalist, and presidential speechwriter, Mr William Safire, says, “Good slogans have rhyme, rhythm or alliteration to make them memorable.”
While Nasa’s “10 Million Strong –Mbele Pamoja” slogan seems to have rhyme and rhythm, Jubilee’s 70+1-Tuko Pamoja” slogan seems to be have failed to excite its supporters forcing the party to even try and introduce another slogan “45 Million Strong”
In 1952, US World War II hero and 34th US President Dwight Eisenhower adopted “I Like Ike” campaign slogan during the presidential campaign.
This was more than 50 years before Facebook, and millions of Americans “liked” the World War II general who was a Republican nominee.
Eisenhower’s 1952 slogan – “I Like Ike” – was memorable because it was catchy.
He won the presidential race with a landslide. And when he ran for the second term, Eisenhower revived the slogan, albeit slightly revised to “I Still Like Ike,” and scored an even bigger victory over his Democratic foe.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has been criticsed over sentiments he has expressed about Nasa’s “10 Million Strong” slogan. PHOTO/COURTESY
Former US President Barrack Obama a Democrat, leveraged on his slogan “Yes We Can” to easily win the US presidency making him the first black man to achieve such a feat. His successor President Donald Trump a Republican came with “Make America Great Again” slogan that won him the presidency against Hillary Clinton.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr is among Nasa leaders who have critised Jubilee for constantly criticizing Nasa’s slogan saying politicians are always allowed to coin their political language during campaigns to suit their agenda.
Professor Amukowa Anagwe, a political scientist says, sloganeering is an integral part of the electoral process as they inculcate the key themes through emotive catch phrases that inspire party supporters to action in a competitive context.
The Dodoma University lecturer says Kenya’s independence President Jomo Kenyatta came up with “Harambee”, his predecessor former President Daniel arap Moi had, “Nyayo” while former President Mwai Kibaki initially adopted, “We Are Unbwogable” but later abandoned it.
Prof Anangwe says a campaign slogan must be relevant to people’s expectations or aspirations.
He adds that among campaign slogans designed by presidential candidates in Kenya, independence President Jomo Kenyatta’s “Harambee” remains the all-time successful presidential slogan.
The aggressiveness with which Jubilee has focused on discrediting the Nasa slogan only means one thing, the ruling party feels threatened by the assumed popularity of Nasa’s “10 Million Strong –Mbele Pamoja” slogan.
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