From next year, the traditional Party Election Broadcast will be replaced by a blipvert that operates below the threshold of human conscious perception. ‘The old party political broadcasts suffered from a terrible flaw,’ explained Tory party strategist Lynton Crosby. ‘As soon as anyone realised they were watching one, they immediately switched over.’
Under the new rules, each party will be given a number of prime-time TV slots to access the nation’s subconscious by flashing up a brief image of their leader lasting less than 30 milliseconds. David Cameron might pop up in the middle of Eastenders grinning and waving some money, Ed Miliband could suddenly appear on Coronation Street looking sternly at an electricity bill, while Nick Clegg may turn up on Hollyoaks under a big neon sign flashing the word ‘Sorry’.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has also been allocated a couple of blipverts that he will use to flash-frame the image of an invading army of 485 million zombie immigrants.
Ed Miliband has welcomed the move. ‘I have been using subliminal tactics for some time,’ he said. ‘In fact I am so below the radar of public consciousness, most people have no idea they have even seen me.’ Nick Clegg also likes the idea of being able to make any future pledges subliminally, so that no-one will know for certain when he inevitably breaks them.
However, concerns have been raised after a pilot study in which viewers exposed to the ads complained of terrible flashbacks. Some people kept seeing David Cameron’s big pink face looming ominously towards them, an image so disturbing it caused a number of victims’ heads to explode.
‘Subliminal ads do carry the risk of post traumatic party political trauma,’ said psychologist Dr Raj Persaud, ‘but the modest risk of spontaneous cranial combustion is more than offset by never having to sit through a normal length broadcast.’
To ensure fair play, the ads will be regulated by the Subliminal Advertising Standards Authority, an organisation about which most people have no awareness. If a blipvert is deemed to have broken electoral guidelines it will be immediately followed by a special ‘cleansing ad’ that will automatically erase the subconscious memory of the first one.
‘Subliminal adverts are the future of political campaigning,’ said Crosby. ‘And very soon everyone will agree with me, even if they have no idea why.’
September 12, 2013
The world’s most visited news website, Mail Online, is to be fitted with a special panic button that readers can use to express their sense of moral outrage. Clicking the button will automatically notify the relevant authorities that Daily Mail readers are upset and that ‘something must be done’.
The decision follows concern that regular readers are being exposed to a constant diet of threats to the social order, celebrity cellulite and Melanie Phillips columns, something that could leave them seriously traumatised unless they have access to immediate help.
‘A panic button is a welcome addition to the site,’ said psychologist Dr Raj Persaud. ‘Without it readers may repress their feelings of moral outrage, which, according to a recent Mail report, could cause cancer.’
Clicking the button quickly redirects readers to a special relaxation page featuring soothing images from the 1950s when the world was a much safer place, people could leave their doors unlocked and children had respect for their elders.
The button will also activate a simple drop-down menu of easy option responses for Mail readers to put in the comments section including: ‘We’re all going to hell in a handcart’, ‘It’s political correctness gone mad,’ and, ‘This is all the fault of the BBC/Europe/gypsies/illegal immigrants/the 1960s/Russell Brand/all of the above.’
The decision has been welcomed by campaigners although many would like things taken a stage further. ‘A Moral Panic button is good for regular Daily Mail readers but many people stumble across the site by accident,’ said celebrity activist Hugh Grant. ‘People of a sensitive liberal disposition may be innocently searching the internet for hummus recipes when they inadvertently find themselves exposed to hard core Daily Mail content. We either need some sort of opt-out filter or, at the very least, a Liberal Outrage button as well.’
Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre rejected calls for an additional panic button for liberals. ‘Nowadays the the vast majority of people coming to our website are politically correct Guardian readers looking for something to get upset about. But these people don’t need a special button to register their outrage; they can do what they normally do and go and complain about it on Twitter.’