In this guest post, group creative director at Ogilvy Shaun Branagan talks about all the bright moments in election advertising.
Seems like it was only yesterday there was an election (true in NSW) but the pollies are off and running with a nod and a Winx in ScoMo’s case with a trip to the Randwick racecourse (Bill had to watch the race on his phone on the tour bus).
Odds are against the PM currently, but no doubt they will shorten (get it) closer to the day. Currently 2.36 per cent to labor, according to Newspoll.
As an aside, hats off, or rather fascinators off, to Sportsbet and their agency for a pearler of a print ad on launch day in the Daily Tele. But I digress, like a pollie avoiding a tricky question from a reporter. To the contenders.
In the royal blue silks, we have the current PM, the one no one voted for, Scott Morrison. In the shiny red silks, with his own sort of new green deal, we have Bill Shorten.
ScoMo has a nickname, which always helps. But Shorten has a new comedian in Kristina Keneally. So far KK’s done a stand-up number ridiculing the libs for ridiculing labor over its electric vehicles policy. Then she followed this up with an online video on the big red labor tour bus, mimicking airline safety videos.
But back to the leaders. ScoMo looks a bit more presidential (although heavens knows what that means these days). The libs videos are also more polished.
There’s a bit of camera work with slow zooms, tracking shots and even some slo mo for ScoMo. He presents surprisingly well, looking assertive and pitching his case with passion. So far ScoMo looks like a leader. In contrast Shorten’s ads look like they are shot on an iPhone and not very well at that.
Perhaps they’re trying to show they understand the medium? Shorten rarely talks to camera, preferring a voiceover. Ironically in one video Shorten claims that the Libs are tired, but if anything Shorten looks like he could do with a long nap.
Both have embraced their inner selfie. Shorten got the jump with his early morning pitch on day one. ScoMo followed up with his own selfie video from the heartland. Problem being, it was way too long and repetitive.
Policies? ScoMo, in a nod to Bill Clinton, says it’s the economy, stupid. His pitch is you can’t trust Labor with money. Conversely, Bill is talking up health and a new green economy. ScoMo is focused on giving young people jobs. Whereas cancer is big on Bill’s agenda. His FB page says he is bringing back Slip Slop Slap – nearly 40 years after it first launched.
Both parties seem to have the same approach to their rallies with placard-waving devotees in the background brandishing placards with slogans. Predictably Labor has red cards with white type and the Libs have blue cards with white type. Talk about typecasting. Both leaders are armed with an ACTION Plan, which the cynics would say never gets actioned once in power.
Social media is the battleground for the election, but neither of the leaders are nailing it effortlessly yet. Whereas Independent Jacquie Lambie knows how to get punters thumb-stopping. Her FB post featuring a battered saveloy, with the caption: “You guys know I like my sausage”. It generated around three thousand comments easily eclipsing the PM’s best effort. And she had crying emojis too.
Bill and ScoMo are laying off the emojis for now but come May 18 one of them will have a smiley face.