Have you been bored senseless this election campaign? Despite being inundated with party ads and slogans you can’t recall any of it? Well, you’re not alone says a new Australian study.
The boffins at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra have found that most political advertising is ineffective and is rarely remembered by the electorate anyway.
The academics discovered we have a particular disdain for ads with negative messages that merely slag off an opponent. It appears the more positive messages of the minor parties is a better approach and is what’s winning them voters.
The study looked at biometric changes in the body of people who were showed political ads by the different parties (although they weren’t necessarily from this year’s election.) It found the ads people did remember where the ones that they hated and irritated them. Oddly, the more someone liked the ad the less likely they were to remember the actual message.
Head of the study, Dr Andrew Hughes said: “Whilst attack adverts certainly bring up the emotions, they don’t convince people to change their vote. If anything, negative advertising made people angry with the political process.”
Dr Hughes added that the more positive vibe of the likes of the Greens or independent senator Nick Xenophon could see them do particularly well in this Saturday’s vote despite being light on actual substance.
On Xenophon, Dr Hughes said: “He seems different, he seems positive because he’s not using these campaign methods.”