Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Media Take: The selling of the campaign

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  • James Littlewood*,

    it became very difficult to see which party was saying what to who

    Since the only broadcast media I get is free of advertising, this seems very apt.

    The miracle of target messaging comes at the cost of ... unified messaging! Which means, it's only a short step from sophisticated targeting to incoherent mumbling.

    Distinct advantage of attack politics: no need for fine-tuned targeted messages, making it easy to be coherent.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    As in the US, facebook is the battleground now. So cheap to produce, change, and target.
    And yeah, National were more nimble, vicious and (sorry) clever in how they advertised (and ran talking points strategy to match - it was a joined-up effort.)
    Labour were also a little tied up by relentless positivity. Running 'let's pollute this' or 'let them eat rent' ads wasn't on the cards - and this far into a National government, there was plenty of ammunition for negative advertising.
    In retrospect, imagine an MOE on advertising with the Greens,: we'll stay upbeat, and you unleash a barrage of deeply negative attack ads to cover our back.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22688 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What Labour should have gone with, and I did say this before the election, was a tax *cut*.

    $50 a week in everyone's pay packet in the form of a $10k personal tax allowance, paid for by capital gains tax on landlords, making companies pay a fair rate of tax and a wealth tax on the super-rich.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    He believes both authorities got it very wrong. I think had either considered complaints about commercial communications structured this way, the threshold might well have been met. It comes down to how you see political speech at the peak of an election campaign.

    I wonder whether these rulings are able to be challenged by judicial review. I think it is important enough for our democracy going forward - and if the original student petitioners set up a GiveALittle page to raise funds for such a review, I'd be donating.

    Resistance of post-truth type political advertising is important to my mind.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready,

    NZF "had enough" rant now removed from youtube. Link?

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But it took too long to produce this video of Michael Cullen talking about Labour's record in government and there was a sense that the creative vitality with which Labour began its campaign had not sustained.

    And seriously, it was the only Labour campaign video that wasn't wall to wall "Jacindamania". I think that mattered, because while I know Labour was no more going to pour resources into North Shore than National did in Mangere I still wouldn't recognise Romy Udanga if I ran into him on the street. The only face out there around here was Ardern's.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    The only face out there around here was Ardern's.

    Which was clearly a decision, and maybe inevitable. She was money.

    And I think it's fair to say she didn't get a lot of value from her deputy. I have a lot of respect for Kelvin Davis – he strikes me as the most palpably honest MP I've ever dealt with – but he was terrible in debates and poor in media in general during the campaign. It's not really even his fault: two months ago he was a good MP who'd immersed himself in Corrections policy. Being a deputy leader in a campaign is a different skillset.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22688 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Which was clearly a decision, and maybe inevitable. She was money.

    Sure, but it still feels like there was two campaigns going on -- and if Little had been rolled a month or two eariler, the joins might not have been quite so obvious.

    but he was terrible in debates and poor in media in general during the campaign.[...] Being a deputy leader in a campaign is a different skillset.

    Indeed, and even being a deputy leader in Parliament and on the campaign trail aren't quite the same things. Davis has done plenty of good work on Corrections policy, but he was also the point man for throwing shit at enemies within and without. Which is fine as far as it goes, but (to take one example) he and Paula Bennett used to do this panel thing on the AM Show. Often, it was just embarrassing (and a tad creepy) watching him be incredibly condescending to Bennett as she laughed iin his face.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Brown,

    I'm an advertising type ( sorry) and yet much of the comms from both sides passed me by because I don't tend to see much TV - I did see the lame runners ad ( creepy) but only on social, and mainly spoofs. I saw Jacinda's car-ride spot on an industry blog. I saw none of the n\National attack ads live, maybe a few glimpses of "let's tax this" served on my phone - exposure pretty much limited to occasional display ads on my phone in Herald app and similar. I guess I saw National billboards around, a bit - the one by the Auckland City Mission was a particularly impressive fail. Pretty poor effort on both sides, really. The key piece of comms was CrosbyTextor's dead cat on the budget hole.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2013 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Jameson,

    The first was a version of National’s “Let’s Tax This”… was as wilfully misleading as every other iteration of the campaign…"

    Not according to TV3, which did a frame-by-frame fact check, determining it: “FAIR, FAIR, FAIR, FAKE, FAIR, & FAIR.”

    And the frame they deemed “Fake” was also, in fact, fair. As it stands today, the National tax cut is law. If Labour makes it across the line, they will have to introduce a bill and get it passed to *raise* income tax back to the pre-law threshold.

    Not sure how you arrived at a “eugenicist vibe” on the Runners ad, when a third of the team featured a Maori family.

    Since Sep 2017 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Glenn Jameson,

    in fact,

    no, as written, the National tax cut law expires automatically. National would have to act to extend it. Labour wouldn't have to do a thing to remove it.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1850 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Glenn Jameson,

    The runners ad was an obvious representation of Social Darwinism. A monochromatic group of the 'fit' run past and knock over a group of diverse and multi-coloured people who are tied up and thus disabled by society. The fit (or privileged) run on, the disabled (the 'other') fall over and are left behind.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3181 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Speaking of Facebook, Jacinda has kept up this sort of excellent social media since the election. She is of a generation that instinctively understands the requirements of social fil as a medium; I hope her and Labour keep this sort of every day post going. It is very powerful.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2204 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    I thought it telling Peters singled out Gower.

    I'm not sure what Gower said was accurate or not but Peters doesn't want any hint of him being personally motivated.

    It's all tiresome theatre from Peters but on occasion his rants speak a certain truth - about him and his priorities.

    Since Nov 2016 • 304 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    That's very odd, Peters was genuinely angry. He's got both major parties paying homage to his amazing abilities and claiming how they were always his mate.

    But he's all aggrieved and it doesn't look like an act.

    Since Nov 2016 • 304 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Neil,

    It’s all tiresome theatre from Peters but on occasion his rants speak a certain truth – about him and his priorities.

    And most importantly, he points out the fact that as yet 15% of the NZ electorate votes have not been counted.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    The moral predicament for the Greens might not be deciding or not to go with National but whether they should pull the plug on Peters being in a centre Left govt.

    Since Nov 2016 • 304 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I really, really wish the media would spend the time until all votes are counted doing something productive, like educating people on how MMP actually works. Endless and pointless speculation wastes a valuable resource - column centimetres and broadcast minutes (and people's attention).
    There's plenty of other stories out there that could do with some oxygen.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7792 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Neil,

    The moral predicament for the Greens might not be deciding or not to go with National but whether they should pull the plug on Peters being in a centre Left govt.

    I don’t know about the moral thing to do, but the adult professional thing wouldn’t be getting overly upset about Winston Peters personally. They are dealing with New Zealand First now, the political party. Now it really is about policy. The election was about personalitys, “the issues that matter”, public theatre and the issues that matter. Now it’s lawyers, conference rooms and lots of documents.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4082 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Jameson, in reply to linger,

    No, the tax cut I’m referring to is the one that comes into effect from April 1. Labour will have to pass a new bill to raise it to the pre-law threshold.

    Since Sep 2017 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Jameson, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The runners ad was an obvious representation of Social Darwinism. A monochromatic group of the ‘fit’ run past and knock over a group of diverse and multi-coloured people who are tied up and thus disabled by society. The fit (or privileged) run on, the disabled (the ‘other’) fall over and are left behind.

    A third of the Blue Runners were Maori, and one was of Asian descent, making half the team non-white. The others were able-bodied characters (with an equal non-white demographic) who were hamstrung in a five-legged race. You need to look past the Party colours and coalition leg tie metaphor to get to the bottom of your hysterical umbrage. :)

    Since Sep 2017 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    While I have a lot of time for NZ First's economic priorities and hope the party goes with Labour and the Greens, Peters has been unusually combative in his recent media appearances.

    I hope Peters finds a way to strike a different balance - presumably every interview is an opportunity to convey a point of view and to win people over.

    Since Nov 2006 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Glenn Jameson,

    It's 30 years since the Willie Horton ads, so I think wheeling out the defence of "they only mean exactly what they say, honest guv" was stale a very long time ago. No, it doesn't say "family home", it just wants the viewer to say "family home", etc. The aim was to mislead, and it worked.

    Steven Price provides a detailed analysis here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1283 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Jameson, in reply to simon g,

    It certainly did — it forced Jacinda to take Capital Gains off the table. :)

    Since Sep 2017 • 18 posts Report Reply

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