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Choc News: Quirky US Election Political Chocolate Packaging

Alison Campbell

Ahead of this year's US presidential election, creative agency Design Army is encouraging Americans to chose chocolate bars based on six illustrated packaging designs that represent different political opinions.

The topical Political Collection from Washington DC chocolate makers Harper Macaw features red, white and blue graphics that poke fun at different groups across the spectrum of political views.

"Match your politics to your chocolate with six defiantly opinionated designs," reads the campaign slogan.

Design Army wanted to provoke a lighter way to engage with American politics, which is receiving increasing amounts of media coverage worldwide in the run up to the election on 8 November 2016.

"I wanted to do something for DC politics to make it a little less 'bitter'," Pum Lefebure, Design Army's co-founder and chief creative officer, told Dezeen. "DC is in the news everyday, but always for the wrong reasons."

"Since we were working with Harper Macaw already, I thought it would be fun to collaborate and give politics a sweeter flavour," she added.

A white elephant dressed in a raspberry studded smoking jacket, "inspired by old family money and old family portraits", adorns the Red State bar created for Republican Party enthusiasts. Its dark chocolate is mixed with red berries.

The democratic Left Wing bar contains dark chocolate and hazelnuts, so its packaging is covered with drawings of protesting nuts.

Infused with English tea, the Tea Party variety is wrapped in images of a historical whaling ship, flying sharks and tea chests afloat in a stripy red and white sea.

Taxation Without Representation was created especially for District of Columbia residents, who have not had voting representation in congress since it was founded as US capital in 1790 – because the area is special federal district, not a state.

Uncle Sam, a common personification of the American government, is portrayed on the bar's packaging so local snackers can "vent frustration by biting his head off".

The Flip-Flopper is both salty and sweet, for those who can't make up their minds. The wrapper is designed to look like a tarot card, and the chocolate is flavoured with sea salt on one side and toffee on the other.

Finally, the Filibuster – packed with pretzels and peanuts – is decorated with snippets of political rhetoric laid out in speech bubbles like a Japanese manga cartoon.

Each design is peppered with subtle jokes that might not be visible at first glance.

"My favourite is on the left wing bar that is 'full of nuts', and one of the nuts is protesting to save the gay whales," said Lefebure. "Not sure how many people actually have noticed it."

The Political Collection is available from Harper Macaw's website.

According to Lefebure, a few hundred of the bars were purchased by media network CBS and given out as gifts at the 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner, an annual event for journalists who cover the White House and the President of the United States.

"This Election Year collection is designed to give a refreshingly positive spin to the world of Washington politics, stir local pride, and shine a spotlight on the capital's (seldom seen but thriving) creative, collaborative side," said the agency.