ANALYSIS: The advertising strategy in the New South Wales elections

Sadly, something seems to have gone a bit missing in the New South Wales state election campaign when it comes to political advertising. Perhaps it is the creativity, the ideas or the touch of a master of political communication like Ted Horton or the late Neil Lawrence.

It could also be that the same old playbook was dragged out of the election advertising drawer, dust blown out, and then used.

The strategy should be familiar by now – the positive attack, followed by the attack on negative news about cluster bombs, complemented by the social campaign and grim messages that fall outside of written election laws when Paul Hogan could still. paint the Harbor Bridge.

How to win campaigns and influence politics
The political announcer does not have it easy. Combating overwhelmingly negative attitudes towards brand (party and politics) and advertising, they must within four weeks move someone from awareness to voting behavior.

With little support from anything else in terms of marketing, a political ad is tasked with carrying far too much weight on its shoulders and is a campaign’s primary dissemination weapon, replacing the candidate, the party. and generally politics in the creation of the supply of value.

It’s the front line of the campaign and usually the only experience a voter gets with a brand, and the only chance a brand has to deliver a clear and concise story to the voter on the street.

It’s no wonder, then, that those who have worked on a political ad campaign say it gives them skills and knowledge about ad campaigns in general that last for decades.

And all of this is happening in the context of 2019. An information-intensive environment where mastering five-second YouTube advertising becomes a necessary requirement of the modern advertiser facing an engaged consumer with multiple platforms and devices. the same time.

Capturing attention, let alone keeping a message in the memory of the voter, has never been so difficult. Keep that in mind for the federal election, just a few weeks away.

What has worked?
Not much really. Nice use of animation and graphics by shooters, fishermen and farmers party at their TVCs, and they largely kept the message positive and short on the word fest on the screen.

Michael Daley’s positive announcement brought back memories of the Kevin07 campaign opener, and it was a good job. The Coalition ads were correct at best, the 15-second TVC was short and punchy and probably stood out.

Advertising Michael Daley

Coalition advertising

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Kevin Rudd’s commercial and Daley’s commercials in 2019

One of the most visible ads is probably from the New South Wales Election Commission and their electoral awareness campaign. Nuances of the ACT recycling campaign, so noticeable but not noticeable.

Socially, it was pretty much the same as it was on TV – throwing buckets of money on everything and hoping something works.

Unfortunately there weren’t any notable artists here, but small parties and independents do a good job of engaging on social platforms that big parties struggle with due to a high level of trolling. . John Barilaro has shown that the Nationals are finally putting as much money into digital technology as the other big players.

NSW Nationals

There were some nice efforts on social media, some great images shared that really helped resonate with some MPs, but again not incorporated more broadly into a cleaner, narrative campaign telling a decent story.

What went wrong?
A lot, but getting right to the point, executing the two-pronged strategy of positive messages with negative messages will never work. This is not the case for commercial brands and certainly never for political brands. Unfortunately, we will see a positive and negative message placed in the same hiatus in the federal election thanks to the Hot hand theory.

Then there is the information dump which is negative publicity, which screams “only shown to a select group of party officials in a room closed to all other distractions and not like how a bettor would see it.”

election nsw 1

No one will ever remember a 4, 5 or 6 point plan or the myriad of ways someone else was mean when in government / opposition. And I did some research to prove it.

This is the visual age and the most powerful negative message during the entire campaign was a video taken of Michael Daley saying words he would regret. Really, the negative publicity is getting worse. It might be easy money for an agency, but the message needs to be a lot better.

What will happen at the federal level?
Probably more of the same. Politicians really believe that everyone reads or watches their ads because they do. Absurdity. Politicians have told me how much they like negative publicity and how effective they think it is.

Yet, as far as I know, in Australia there has been little research to back it up and a Facebook poll I took in 2016 found that 85% of those polled hated it. I would be surprised to see that those numbers have changed.

Sadly, Clive Palmer’s campaign appears to support what could happen to the NBN in the months to come. Positive posts first, maybe the odd good ol ‘SMS with a click bait link, followed by the negative raid on the media mat, interspersed with a few social media highlights that keep the whole campaign from going downhill under the weight of advertising work.

The landmark campaigns in this New South Wales election have come from minor parties and independents, and you can expect the same to continue in the federal campaign when it kicks off.

But I hope I am wrong.

Dr. ANDRE HUGHES, a specialist in political advertising, is a lecturer in marketing at the ANU School of Management Research.

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