Attack ads galore: Federal Election 2013 – the final creative verdict

Jason LonsdaleEach week of the election season we’ve invited creative thinkers to give us their verdict on some of the advertising creative from the campaign. For the final week of the campaign Jason Lonsdale executive director of planning at Saatchi & Saatchi critiques the final round of ads from the parties.

Full disclosure: I’m a recently arrived Kiwi and therefore ineligible to vote. But unlike the recent US elections which utterly transfixed me, my lack of interest in this bun-fight is rivalled only by my disinterest in Vegemite, AFL & casual racism.

That being said, my deeply held apathy for either candidate seems to be fairly widespread among the population, so perhaps I represent your typical undecided and vaguely clueless swing voter?

With that in mind, let’s see who can entice me to insert my integer into their box:

Australian Labor Party: Choice for Australia

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

First up, the ALP, asking me to choose, but not between Rudd and Abbott (good start, given that they are equally if differently repugnant) but between nice (jobs, kids, the future) and nasty (cuts, recession, general evilness). Of course I prefer nice, but I’m not sure I believe the nasty stuff (I’m a planner, so I have a bit of a thing for facts). It all gets a bit confusing at the end, with “everyday Aussies” looking oddly happy, given that the voiceover is talking about their jobs disappearing.

My vote: still hard to choose

Australian Labor Party: Still no costings

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

A bit more punch here from Labour, landing a half-decent blow on ‘Good Time Tony’ and his lack of detail on how exactly the Alliance are going to balance the budget – given that the election is now only a few days away, I guess that Tony is just going to keep all that a surprise for Monday. “If he wins, you lose” is a good thought, but a slightly first-base line. I’ve seen it slapped up on posters and billboards around the place, and it kinda works, but I can’t help but think it should have been rolled out earlier.

My vote: leaning a bit to the left

Australian Sex Party: Fiona Patten – Your life, your choice

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

Wahey, now we’re talking –an ad for the Australian Sex Party! Let’s watch… oh… how disappointing. I was expecting something a bit like Kylie’s Agent Provocateur ad, or at least some out-takes from ‘The Shire’. But no. This is all a bit cheap and nasty –not the sort of sex I’d vote for at all. It talks about “modern Australia”, but the whole ad looks like it has been dug up from the 80s.

My vote: still limp

Democratic Labour Party: The Ruddster – Foreign Aid

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

The Democratic Labour Party (who are they?) have wheeled out the world’s least convincing Kevin Rudd impersonator to land a vaguely xenophobic messageabout not giving aid money to bloody foreigners.

My vote: is anyone going to give me back my LAFHA?

Liberal National Party: Don’t Gamble Your Future

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

And here’s one from SA, accusing Labor and the Greens of taking a wrecking ball to the economy. Er, isn’t the economy going well? And I thought the gripe was that Labor was spending too much money?

My vote: confused

Liberal Party: Labor Greens Spring Clean

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

Another one fomenting a bit of anti-Labor sentiment by pointing out that they secretly put their garbage out with the Greens. Given the lack of an environmental conscience in this country, this could get some traction. But surely they missed an obvious recycling gag?

My vote: a bit rubbish

Liberal Party: Same Labor. Same Failure.

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

I’m utterly baffled by this next one from the Liberals. Who are all these people?

I will give them some points for the Homeland-paranoid-conspiracy-thriller art direction, but it would have been helped by a more ominous voiceover. And rhyming Labor with “failure” is just a bit crap.

My vote: Don LaFontaine for PM

Palmer United Party: Company Tax

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

I have no idea who Clive Palmer is, and I don’t pay company tax, on estimates or otherwise, so have no idea whether this will release $70 billion into theeconomy. Next.

My vote: still confused.

The Australian Greens: Caring & Inclusive Society

Here’s a two-minute one from The Greens. While I do agree with a lot of what the nice lady says, this one is dead boring, with no real point or message beyond “trust us, we’re really nice, honest”. I suspect that this one is preaching to thechoir, and I struggle to see how it would sway anyone. What I’d have liked to see is a nice sharp anti-Abbott attack ad from the Greens, cementing their position as the protest vote for people (like me) who can’t stand the other two.

My vote: nice but dull

Overall, a remarkably underwhelming bunch of ads this week – nothing that any agency is going to be dusting the dinner suits off, that’s for sure. Perhaps we’ll see some more teeth in this week’s final run-up to the polls, but I deeply suspect we’ll be getting more of the same.

But the big question is how would this batch of election ads sway me, if I was an Aussie undecided swing voter? Well, based on this lot, I’d just pay the fine…

Oh wait, hang on… what’s this that has just popped up on my FB feed?

Oh, its only the best bit of election advertising I’ve seen this year:

dontbeafuckingidiot.com. Click on it now. Go on.


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