This was not a day for surprises. It was not a day for detail. It was more a day of impressions carefully created and choreographed by the party machines.
Thus, Gordon Brown opened his electoral pitch by declaring that he came from "an ordinary middle-class family from an ordinary town" - "unlike the other guy" being his unspoken thought.
"I am not a team of one," the prime minister declared with the Cabinet at his side - this a reflection of what Labour perceives as a strength and a confirmation of their fear: that their leader is a potential weakness.
On the road, he was accompanied by the woman credited with making him more ordinary - his wife Sarah - as he popped in to people's houses and to their canteens - presenting himself as more underdog than powerful incumbent.
But David Cameron had seen that coming. He declared that he was fighting for the "Great Ignored" at an outdoor rally with Parliament as his backdrop with his wife Samantha at his side. His implicit message: we are on your your side, not theirs.
Nick Clegg had to make do with a political wife - Vince Cable - who like Mrs Brown and Mrs Cameron is regarded as a key electoral asset. They are pitching their campaign as a contest between the old politics in the form of Labour and Tory and the new in the form of, well, them.
So far, so stage-managed. But it is only Day One and the choreography is - in its own way - rather revealing.