The hidden message of the BNP’s new logo
Client: The British National Party
The British National Party, fresh off a cataclysmic showing in last week’s UK local council elections, seized its image problem by the jugular today.
From today’s press release:
“It has come to our attention that some media outlets and publications are still using our old logo (BNP with union flag infill). Please accept this communication as written official notification that we, the British National Party, have changed our official logo from the letters BNP with union flag infill to the stylised heart with union flag infill and the words ‘British National Party’ beside the heart.”
In other words, use this one.
Not this one.
Leaving aside the dorky syntax of the letter (“Please accept this communication as written official notification that we, the British National Party … “), which reads like they’ve copied straight from The English You Need for Business: A Picture Process Dictionary, the BNP’s attempt to keep the national media “on-logo” does show at least basic awareness that their marketing efforts have, so far, been just as poor as their motives.
But is the new logo any better? Let me get out my reading specs.
OK, there’s a heart. Really? A heart? The BNP’s logo is a heart? That’s my careful analysis of that.
They’ve also used a “sketch” style. They want to make it look like they just chanced upon the logo. They were just playing with the magic invisible eraser they got at Sally’s party and were erasing away while thinking about barrettes and then boom – there was a new logo hiding there THE WHOLE TIME.
So a love heart, and a magic scribble, and I’m starting to feel a little-girls-wearing-rhinestones vibe. Maybe a strategist (I was going to write MP but then I realised, like, ha ha) knocking back a Special Brew at BNP headquarters suddenly heaved himself up on to his elbows and said to the group, “You know what did really well when I was a kid? My Little Pony. Everybody had one of those.”
The scribble style suggests another object that might, it could be argued, be a bit more demographically apt: the scratchcard. The BNP is one of the potential prizes on Pigs Might Fly! Elect us: it’s like getting £1 to purchase another opportunity to vote again later! Or maybe you won’t win anything.
But the logo is not just Love Hearts and decoder rings and weirdly self-defeating ideas about the lottery. There is, I hereby assert, a more important message contained within. This message, I think, is that there is a “real” Britain, supposedly hidden beneath something, and the BNP are the ones who can show it to us. They can wipe or magic-eraser away what has covered or encrusted the real Britain, and underneath all the grime and filth the true colours of the country can shine through.
No marks for what the implied grime and filth might be.
My only quibble with this marketing strategy and iconography system, other than its drooling, knuckle-dragging xenophobia (but then that’s really a plus to the BNP’s way of thinking, especially if they can hide it in a kind of visual innuendo, as they have indeed very successfully done here), is that if the BNP really wanted to tell the story of a real Britain languishing underneath an opaque or suffocating film or coating – ie, what looks to us like the “background” but is in fact the repressive veil obscuring the country’s beauty – then they probably shouldn’t, according to their party’s particular values and beliefs, have made that background white.
Just saying. How about you? What do you think of the new logo?