The art of getting noticed: Candidates going to extremes to stand out

Naked cowboy’s posters given all-clear by Copenhagen Municipality

As the days and weeks of electioneering go by, campaign posters hanging on lampposts, trees and bridges become an all too familiar sight. Most posters follow a formula: a PR-style headshot of the candidate and the party name and logo.

But some candidates make an effort to stand out, with varying results, TV2 News reports.

READ MORE: Election posters are ineffective, researcher claims

Naked cowboy
The elephant in the room of campaign posters has to be the naked cowboy John Erik Wagner, who is running as an independent candidate. Wagner’s posters feature the candidate against a black background, wearing only a cowboy hat and a leather pistol holster strapped to his leg, leaving little to the imagination.

Wagner’s posters have raised eyebrows, but Ivan Partov of Copenhagen Municipality told Berlingske that they weren’t breaking any rules, as long as they didn’t distract traffic.

“It’s not against the law in itself to hang that kind of poster up, if you’re running in the general election,” he said.

“But if the poster is deemed to to interfere with road users’ attention, then it’s another matter. We have now reviewed the poster and assess that it is not problematic. So they won’t be taken down.”

No-one takes them seriously
Legality is one thing, effectiveness is another. Peter Nedergaard, a professor in political science at Copenhagen University, is the author of the book ‘Valget er dit’ (The choice is yours), in which he discusses some of the most noteworthy campaign posters of the past 100 years. He has rated some of the more unusual posters in the upcoming election.

Nedergaard dismissed Wagner’s entry, and also the colourful effort of another independent candidate Tom Gillesberg that features the candidate under the slogan ‘Win-win with BRIKS’ and a stylised map of Europe. “They can make more noise because there’s no-one who takes them seriously anyway,” he said.

CGAcHAxVEAAje5s(Photo: Twitter/Kenneth Praefke)

Other attention-seekers
Among the other unusual placards appearing in this election is the Venstre MP Søren Pind’s Neville Chamberlain-esque, sepia-toned photo of him exiting a plane in South Sudan during his spell as foreign minister.

CF_raS1WMAAgcmi(Photo: Twitter/Søren Pind)

While the Radikale candidate Sawira Nawa Amini is the ‘faceless candidate’ in her posters. They have a hole where her face should be and are hung at head-height to invite voters to stand behind.

CGBGkgYW0AAKGbJ(Photo: Twitter/Sawira Nawa Amini)