Municipal election 2020: the election posters in hochstadt are up again

Now they are shining again from every streetlight: parties and candidates for mayor are advertising with posters to win the favor of their voters for the municipal election. In hochstadt, the parties have so far held back with their posters. Since sunday, six weeks before the election, posters have been allowed to be put up in hochstadt.

So far, the posters have been approved by four parties, says daniela monius, head of the hochstadt civic office. Altogether there are so far 680 posters and eight rough posters. Important requirement for billposting: traffic safety must not be impaired.

At the moment, the posters of the CSU and the greens dominate the hochstadt townscape. The first posters to be put up in hochstadt and the local districts were those of the CSU. Posters were put up on saturday, says CSU mayoral candidate alexander schulz. "Exactly on point", he says. The strategy behind this was to get the places where there was more traffic and where the posters would be seen longer.

Posters for the election documents

Young list (JL) and SPD take a little more time to campaign. When the election documents are sent out at the end of february, the posters should also be up, says mechthild weishaar-glab, SPD mayoral candidate. "By then, the posters will be up and every woman will know", the idea behind it: "many people don’t bother with the election until the voting cards are there."

In uehlfeld, the SPD is drawing attention to itself with particularly self-deprecating posters: "save endangered species", plus the faces of the list candidates. "We want to get away from these beer-serious posters", says bernhard penz, SPD uehlfeld list candidate. The people had to deal again more with topics and that should already begin with the election posters.

Penz calls it a "renaissance of information posters". The party was concerned that the campaign would do more harm than good. So far, however, the reactions have been positive. "We have already heard from people who found it very funny", says penz.

Interview: "it’s hard to avoid election posters on the street"

In the election campaign, parties can get a lot wrong, but they can also get a lot right. Communication scientist christina holtz-bacha, who held the chair of communication science at the friedrich-alexander-universitat erlangen-nurnberg between 2004 and 2019, talks about what matters in election posters.

How does an election poster have to be designed in order to be noticed by the voters??

Christina holtz-bacha: since election posters compete for attention in public spaces and are usually only viewed for a few seconds – while driving or walking by – they need elements that attract attention and their message must be quickly understood. Such elements are color, coarse, emotionally appealing or even unusual elements.

What election posters do you remember from the past?

Lying long behind: franz josef straub with his daughter. Or edmund stoiber with his wife. Frauke petry with her baby. Angela merkel’s candidate poster for the 2005 federal election.

What negative examples do you remember?

A negative example was the 2002 federal election campaign, CDU and SPD had very similar posters, especially the same blue as a background, so that the assignment to the right party was in question. Negative examples are also the candidate posters that are used in the electoral districts, with always the same images or occasionally very unfavorable portraits.

And positive examples?

Joschka fischer: "auben minister. Interior grun" on the 2002 federal election. An interesting positive and negative case: SPD posters for the 2009 european elections (with shark, with fohn, with cent coin). With the direct attack on the other parties it concerns negative advertisement, which is rather unusual in germany on election posters in this form and came therefore into the criticism. However, the motives were striking, which is good for gaining attention.

What is the grossest mistake you observe in election posters?

Again and again, text-heavy posters appear, and you had to stop to read them.

In times of facebook, twitter and co.: do we need election posters at all to run a successful campaign??

Election posters appeal to the general public and have the primary function of drawing attention to the upcoming election and making candidates known. Election posters on the street are hard to avoid; if you move in public space, you will also see election posters.

In the process, people also come across posters for parties they don’t know. In addition, election posters are the last advertising medium you see on the way to the polling station. Social networks are used for personalized advertising. This also removes it from public discussion and, if necessary, from scrutiny for false claims.

The questions were asked by franziska rieger.

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