In his latest post, industry contrarian Robert Strohfeldt argues the Coalition won the recent election because its message was clear as Labor’s was jumbled. And, he adds, there are plenty of lessons in it for the advertising industry, too. (The comments here are that of the author and not necessarily endorsed by the publisher)…
The post-mortems from Federal election are still happening. “How could the unlosable election be lost?”, is paraphrasing the question most asked by the Progressives.
Like so many in the media, much of the advertising industry appeared to side with the so-called progressive thinking by Labor and in its most extreme form, the Greens.
If there was a direct correlation between “noise” and outcome, Labor would have won in a landslide and it left me wondering, how was the advertising industry split? The industry has been a vocal supporter of identity politics. But as the election result has shown, this does not translate to a majority supporting Labor and/or the Greens.
The advertising industry is supposedly the expert in communications. The Coalition stuck to a simple message around tax and the economy. Their ongoing research showed that every time they moved “off message”, their support declined.
Labor, on the other hand, was all over the shop, like a madman’s faecal matter. Their childcare package won considerable support, but to the surprise and delight of the Coalition, they jumped to another message just as it was gaining interest and support – Labor spent/promised $17 billion in one three-day period, but few people would be able to say what each promise was for.
Akin to kids in a candy store, they felt as if they had so many good “policies/promise” to give to the electorate they all had to be on show. The result, no one overall positive theme on which to hang each policy, allowing a sum of the parts united message to be presented.
Forgetting Communications 101, Labor had no central theme. Climate change was felt to be a huge issue, one that was going to sway votes to Labor and the Greens. School kids marching and chanting through capital city streets, bringing traffic to a standstill, were lead items on nightly news broadcasts.
“We have the bastards” would have been the refrain of progressives everywhere as they watched these demonstrations.
Well, maybe in inner city Melbourne and Sydney, but in Queensland, where 100,000 people either directly or indirectly relied on the Adani mine, there were swings of up to 20 per cent away from Labor. Coal miners were once part of the backbone of the Labor vote. But not this election.
There would only be a tiny minority of people who have no regard for the environment. But an even smaller minority is going to sacrifice their jobs, home and family’s welfare for the good of the environment. It became an “either or” issue.
Bob Brown had the Coalition popping champagne corks when he led his anti-coal convey into the heart of coal mining territory at Clermont. If he had sat down and seriously considered “how can I fuck up Labor’s and Green’s, chances in regional Queensland?” he could not have done a more effective job.
The objective should have been to win the election – and work from that point. But the progressives got carried away with their big taxing, wealth redistribution vision.
They say hubris comes before a fall and the hubris emanating from the progressive side of politics reached gargantuan proportions.
The passing of the great Bob Hawke was thought to be helpful for the Labor cause. But Bob Hawke governed from the centre of politics. His core theme was reconciliation, recovery and reconstruction. His stated aim was “To bring Australians together.”
The Progressives took a divisive, class warfare approach. They talked of “us” and “them”. People were asking “what have I done wrong?” as Labor proposed going after their retirement savings, investment properties and dividends from shares.
Ironically, the Baby Boomers were the first generation in most families who went to university. They came from working class backgrounds. Gough Whitlam made it possible for them to go to university. Hawke and Keating followed these policies through. And now these same people were being called “elites”.
George Orwell said, “”If civilisation creates language, language can create civilisation”.
The term “Progressive” implies modern and forward thinking – a far more desirable approach than “Conservative.”
The so- called Progressives, are more regressive than progressive. They hark back to class war and socialism. Concepts that collapsed by the end of the 80’s under the weight of their own oppression.
Conservative is a derogatory term given to anyone who does not vote Labor or Green. Looking at the policies brought to this election, rather than conservative, “Visionary” would be a more appropriate term.
So where does the advertising industry sit?
If we went by the noise emanating from the industry on the topics of
- Same sex marriage
- LGBT rights
- Anti -religious (particularly Christian) sentiment
- Climate change
- Brand purpose
It would be safe to assume most of the industry would classify as Progressives.
Ironically, any decent and fair-minded person supports all the above issues. But when they are put over in a fanatical, “all or nothing” approach, support amongst mainstream Australia is lost.
I am left (no pun intended) wondering if the advertising industry is a microcosm of society at large, or just a vocal minority.