Monday, March 5, 2007

Royal website has face lift

Segolene Royal's website Désirs d'avenir has played a major role in her campaign, both propelling her to a sweeping victory in the Socialist primary and acting as a center for the thousands of "participative debates" that occured online and offline to form her presidential policy pact.

But after being down yesterday for maintenance, Désirs d'avenir has come back with an entirely new look, perhaps indicative of Royal's attempts at changing her campaign. Before today, the site looked somewhat like a feminine Apple desktop: bright neon colors and rounded borders gave everything a rather lighthearted edge, and the top of the site even included a rising sun and moving clouds.

Now, it is safe to say that she is taking the exact opposite approach. The "intro" page, which asks the user to sign up and participate before entering the site, has gone from a smiling picture of Royal to a picture of a campaign poster hanging on a battered cement wall. While the homepage of the site retains the same format, all graphics have sharp angles and edges, and solid colors take precedence over the soft cartoonish ones of before. The animation at the top is no longer puffy clouds blowing in the breeze, but a checkerboard of colors turning in and out over campaign messages.

It's obvious that over the past few days, especially with her recent speech on national defense, Royal has and is trying to portray herself as not only the hip and energetic woman who won her party's nomination, but as a serious contender next to Nicolas Sarkozy. Although she has taken another nosedive in recent polls, the latest one from today shows her losing to Sarkozy only 52% to 48%. However, the poll includes one new milestone: Francois Bayrou at 20%.

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