If you thought TVNZ’s promo ad for its Plain English series looked like an ad for the National Party you’re not alone. Seems the ad is so faithful to the political advertising genre that it even had a political marketing expert fooled.
Here’s Dr Clare Robinson on her reaction to seeing the ad:
“When I saw it in the weekend I was completely confused because it was so much like a National Party political ad, especially the ad they had featuring Bill English in 2002,” Dr Robinson said.
“My first thought was National must have somehow found a way of getting around the election broadcasting rules to be able to advertise outside of campaign time.”
She was shocked when she realised it was a TVNZ ad.
“I thought what on earth is going on? Why is TVNZ using a political advertising format to market one of its shows? I was very confused”…
‘It just seemed a very unbalanced way of approaching this sort of promotion and meaning that all the emphasis went on to the National Party perspective on the economy and no one else’s.’
The fact that the ad was scripted and shot in the form of a political advertisement is the real giveaway here. TVNZ’s claim that there’s “nothing political” about the ad just doesn’t hold water, because as Lew points out in the comments:
This is a form which has been finely tuned and crafted over half a century to serve a very specific set of purposes â€” it’s a complex and very challenging medium where every frame, every word, every note is loaded up with as much subtle meaning as possible. With apologies to Tolkien, one does not just walk into political advertising.
TVNZ’s pro-National leadership and the Minister’s office knew exactly what they were doing here, they even consulted over the script. Heads should roll over this gross abuse of public trust.