Of Presidents and Prime Ministers

PSOEYou wouldn’t know it, but Spain also has important elections this year–in fact, the real thing (no such thing as primaries here) takes place in only three weeks. In the past weeks, Madrid’s streets have filled with the faces of the right- and left-wing candidates for prime minister (Rajoy and Zapatero, respectively) on light-post banners, on phone booths (see picture), in the metro, on the highway… As for the advertising I’ve seen, the left-wing PSOE has been doing much better than the right PP, mostly because PSOE ads are EVERYWHERE.

Yesterday, a huge vinyl ad appeared on the entire façade of a building on Gran Vía. It features photographs of the top three ministers of each party sitting in a congressional session. The top row is the PSOE, smiling and animated, and below them are the three representatives of the PP, frowning and lost in thought. And in between the two rows of photos the slogan: No es lo mismo (It’s not the same). I think it’s marvelously clever, personally. Or maybe I’m just on an advertising kick because I now teach a class at an advertising agency?

It’s a little less exciting than what’s going on at home (most of my students seem to agree with that statement), but it’s still got entertainment value.

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5 Responses to “Of Presidents and Prime Ministers”


  1. 1 Tom Clarke Monday, 25 February, 2008 at 11:09 am

    That Gran Via poster is amazing… and very funny too. I too am much enamoured with political advertising. I’m not sure if you’re interested but I’ve just started a new project to collect political posters, stickers and graffiti from Spain. Well, it has only just started and there isn’t much stuff on there yet, but I’m hoping that people will send in photos from all over the country. It’s called Symbolos y Senyals (http://www.simbolosysenyals.com).

    Oh, one small thing: this isn’t a presidential election, it’s a parliamentary one. Although Zapatero’s job is ‘Presidente del Gobierno’ that really translates more to Prime Minister.

  2. 2 Katie Monday, 25 February, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for the correction, Tom. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for graffiti and such…

  3. 3 Keefieboy Tuesday, 26 February, 2008 at 12:06 am

    Hmmm, not convinced about the U.S. election process being ‘exciting’. It strikes me as a stupendous waste of money. What the U.S. is going through now is simply a process of candidates trying to win nominations from their parties, before they even start on the actual Presidential campaign. What it means is that poor (financially) candidates stand no chance whatsoever. I don’t think that’s at all democratic. I think the European way of doing things is a bit more sensible.

  4. 4 Katie Tuesday, 26 February, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Okay, okay, you’ve made a point about the money. But I’m talking about emotion here. You still haven’t convinced me that it hasn’t gotten the U.S. (and some of the world) extremely interested in the whole thing. I think that’s fairly exciting.


  1. 1 PSOE poster on Gran Via, Madrid at Simbolos y Senyals Trackback on Tuesday, 26 February, 2008 at 9:10 am
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