Weak

Written By: - Date published: 3:35 pm, September 1st, 2008 - 98 comments
Categories: election 2008, national, spin - Tags: ,

Perhaps I’ve overestimated the National Party’s PR machine. I mean I’ve seen them run their C/T strategy pretty well and, as much as I hate to admit it, Ansell’s billboards were pretty bloody good last time.

But then I opened the PDF with their latest billboard on it. It’s busy, the message is confusing, and the strapline seems completely at odds with the lines they’ve been building up for the past five years.

‘Wave goodbye to higher taxes’? Wave goodbye to a big chunk of your campaign spend for no real reason more like.

If I was the Waitemata Trust I’d be asking for my money back.

 

98 comments on “Weak”

  1. sweetd 1

    Of course you don’t like it. For nine years labour has tried to outlaw and disband the family unit.

  2. schrodigerscat 2

    Wouldn’t send any of our loved ones to Iraq would they?

    probably can’t remember!

  3. Felix 3

    Looks like B52s. Creepy.

    This should remind a few people what Key thinks our soldiers should be doing…

  4. Tane 4

    Of course you don’t like it. For nine years labour has tried to outlaw and disband the family unit.

    There are usually two responses to comments like this. You either engage with the idiot by going through working for families, paid parental leave, higher wages etc, or you just go “what the fuck?” and move on. I think I’ll go with the latter on this one.

  5. sweetd. please don’t comment when you’re stoned.

    I laughed out loud when i saw that billboard. That’s not to say the others will necessarily do better, but this is pretty poor.

  6. Ha! – It’s trying to be a positive brand building image and then it’s got this hysterical “your loved ones are leaving!” message. And the logo is real small – It’s kinda like a metaphor for John Key – pretty corporate branding, confused message and bland, bland bland…

  7. Lew 7

    Felix: I thought this, too. Reminds me of Capra’s counter-propaganda propaganda in Why We Fight.

    If I were the Nats’ propagandist, they’d be red planes.

    L

  8. Dom 8

    Choose a brighter future? That’s their brilliant sales pitch? Well, take the ‘b’ from brighter and perhaps it makes sense…

  9. Tane 9

    Dom, brilliant. The parodies are going to be fun. If anyone knows what the font is let me know. Hard to tell when it’s in caps.

  10. forgetaboutthelastones 10

    So higher taxes have somehow boarded masses of planes and I get to look up and wave goodbye to them. As for my loved ones – I don’t get to wave goodbye to them because the higher taxes have used up all the planes.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Note to the Nats: Australia’s the other way.

    Or are we invading Fiji?

  12. Patrick 12

    Tane, the fonts are Unit-LightLF, Unit-RegularLF and Unit-MediumLF.

    And yeah, terrible bill boards. Any idea how many of them are going up?

  13. Quoth the Raven 13

    Certainly reminds me of a WW2 propaganda poster with those planes. All it needs is a glorious soldier looking forward.

  14. Tane 14

    Thanks Patrick.

  15. Dom 15

    Tane, if you replace the NOT with AND – then follow with a National quote on supporting the US in Iraq (English and Mapp from memory?) the whole militaristic imagery could work nicely to highlight the Nat’s support for the US invasion of Iraq…

  16. Tane 16

    I’m thinking something along those lines, just need to figure out how to shop it, then find the bloody time…

  17. randal 17

    weak is not the word…if this is hung in tory hq they will spend all their time going for a leak…blerkkkkkkkk!

  18. dave 18

    No not weak, clever, given that 1,555 people leave the country for good every week. Or 222 people per day. Or one every six and a half minutes.
    At least they haven’t flogged a stock picture from the US.
    [dave. the fact you think where a pic comes from is significant shows the holloowness of your politics. The numbers you are quoting are just emigration, you’ve got to at least count the Kiwis coming back, if not the people immigrating here. The net Kiwi citizens emigration is less than 0.7% per annum and well within the norms of the migration cycle. SP]

  19. Julie 20

    I thought it was an ad for Air NZ. Perhaps that’s one of the things the Nats would send overseas too (i.e. into foreign ownership)?

  20. Tane 21

    Wave goodbye to Air New Zealand
    We’re selling that too

  21. Wave goodbye to higher wages
    Not 90s policies

  22. Dom 23

    LOL Julie, I’ve just be playing with this wording:
    WAVE GOODBYE TO
    YOUR NATIONAL AIRLINE.
    AND OTHER STATE ASSETS.

  23. Dom 24

    LOL Tane – that’s great!

  24. Tim Ellis 25

    I’m a national party supporter, and I think it’s a good message. Maybe I’m getting old though, because it does seem quite difficult for me to read. It might look a bit different if I was driving past it, but not being a technical guy I’d give it 8/10 for message, 3/10 for visual impact. I assume that there is going to be a series of messages going up; they won’t all be about emigration to australia, and to have drastically different billboard designs sounds to me like it would dilute the brand.

    Still, I suppose it will get noticed a lot for no other reason than it’s the first shot fired in the battle.

  25. outofbed 26

    To add to the military theme, the arrows look not unlike US military stripes (rank of corporal perhaps?) :-}

  26. Tane 27

    Wave goodbye to your loved ones
    We’re sending them to Iraq

  27. Bill 28

    Wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones ’cause they’re on board too thanks to massive borrowing to fund these squadrons of lear jets for John’s mates and their families.

    Next stop Andora.

  28. r0b 29

    The first time I saw Iwi/Kiwi (2005) I thought shit, we could lose this election. Seeing this billboard I’m thinking shit, we could win this one!

    “Not your loved ones” is a great tag line to keep.

    Who went to bomb Iraq
    Not your loved ones

    Who benefits from increased borrowing
    Not your loved ones

    Who wants to sell our schools
    Not your loved ones

    Who wants to pay road tolls
    Not your loved ones

    Don’t go back to the Righter future

    and so on…

  29. Tane 30

    It’s such an appallingly bad ad campaign I’m actually worried that parodying it will give it a cultural currency it doesn’t deserve.

  30. Rob 31

    Good message I believe some one has to stop the brain drain of the intelligent ones that have departed from this Labour Led Helen Clark Government.

    All we do is fill our Country up with People who more than likely vote Labour in the future. I’m sure that must be a question on the immigration papers now “Will you vote Labour OK you can come to New Zealand”

    I just believe that you guys at the Standard are a little bit Anal Retentive about Bill Boards given Nationals last campaign last time. I’m sure there will be some Crosby Textor Specials to come out yet.

    I promise you open and Honest Government yea right

    I have some very big ideas for New Zealand yea right

    I would never ban a smack because parent dont want that yea right

    I never knew about the $100000 promise yea right

    I believe Owen Glenn might give Labour another loan yea right

  31. r0b 32

    Rob, those are so bad that I believe you wrote them yourself. Maybe you should go back to plagiarising, so you get better material?

  32. randal 33

    wave goodbye to john keys…he’s on the road to nowhere. bye bye johnny.

  33. dave 34

    you’ve got to at least count the Kiwis coming back
    Problem is that they’re not staying here and I’m only counting permanent departures not OE’rs. Ther are so many Maori leaving NZ flying out for Aussie for good that if it keeps up Aussie will soon be called Outeroa.

  34. lprent 35

    That billboard is pretty pathetic.

    It looks like something for selling tampon’s. Trying to wrap something vaguely offensive in a non-intrusive, low-key, and designed not to cause divisiveness package. Well it does fit the type of message National has been trying to sell. I’m not sure if it suits how this election campaign is going.

    Anyway, I vote for referring to them as Nationals Tampon billboards. Something designed to staunch the leakage of blood.

    Damn it does remind me of tampon packaging……

  35. outofbed 36

    Choose a frightning future, Party vote National

  36. Lew 37

    r0b: A mate of mine has come up with the following, which has a zen simplicity:

    NATIONAL: NOT YOUR LOVED ONES

    L

  37. coge 38

    How are Labours billboards coming along? Is Owens’ cheque still in the mail?

    All this talk about Iraq, is far leftist speak. Most Kiwis know that idea is a complete fallacy i.e it ain’t happening. Your suggestion Tane, will have no currency with the masses.

  38. Quoth the Raven 39

    Rob – Your are the biggest sycophant out there. I’ve never once heard you criticise your party and you seem to be the only person who defends your party’s use of C/T. Not even your party’s leaders like to acknowledge it. And Rob the brain drain is a myth.

  39. r0b 40

    NATIONAL: NOT YOUR LOVED ONES

    Love it!

  40. Tara 41

    Bring Back The Lash !

    Bring Back Muldoon !

  41. higherstandard 42

    Not sure what’s stranger ?

    That one of the major political parties can’t come up with something better with all the talented marketeers about in NZ or that Lynn seems to have a good knowledge of feminine hygiene products.

  42. dave 43

    Lynn, what do you know abut tampon packaging. Anyway it is definately trying to minimise leakage of blood – between Winston and Helen no doubt. Perhaps thats the problem, Helen doesnt have any

  43. Daveski 44

    I don’t know why they bothered – it’s a little clumsy but has a message that has some relevance.

    It would have been a lot easier to put a billboard up and say “Vote for Helen and get Winston for free”.

    Strange that while the rest of the country is trying to work out why Helen is happy to continue to work with Winston, the big topic at the Standard is a billboard. Not to mention why Helen never acknowledged that her Minister was being charitable with the truth.

    Isn’t that a bit weak, too?

  44. schrodigerscat 45

    So John Key left to go overseas, why did he do that?

    People have been coming and going from here for quite a while now.

    I have been away and come back a couple of years later 3 times so far. I have always bought back more than I left with too, knowledge, experience, wealth….

    I personally don’t know anyone that left because the taxes were too high here.

  45. sean 46

    The amusing and absolutely f**king ironic thing is, that the meaning of this billboard flies so far over the top of your heads. The airplane flying to the right is so apt.

    Lads, you’ve been done brilliantly. ROFL.

  46. randal 47

    doh. yeah right. excuse me while I go to the lavatory. it seems to have affected my bladder.

  47. Mike 48

    Wave goodbye to competence.

    I don’t think using images of airplanes on a billboard with the words “Wave goodbye … not your loved ones” is a good idea, particularly in 10 days time. Let’s just hope it’s not erected anywhere near the US consulate or embassy.

  48. Julie 49

    Some great ideas in this thread, I look forward to seeing some of them mocked up!

    lprent, not sure what’s vaguely offensive about tampons? I’m prepared to concede many people seem them as icky (and I tend to that view despite my best intentions) but it’s more because of our silly ideas about bodies imho. anyway, that’s a rant for another time and place.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the rest of National’s campaign is along the lines of this billboard, focusing on something they perceive NZers don’t like about the current govt (in this case higher taxes which is weird because Labour has cut taxes – higher than what exactly?). I wonder what they’ll pick in future? Perhaps wave goodbye to telling you how to parent (s59), wave goodbye to underfunded schools (return to bulk-funding, oops, sorry I mean “the fully funded option”)?

    It’s kind of weird to have to think about these sort of double negative thingies.

  49. dave 50

    what about Labour – hanging by a thread…

  50. jaymam 51

    Here’s a blank billboard for you guys to add your comments to!

    http://i33.tinypic.com/34oo4co.jpg

  51. lprent 52

    I just consider them to be a normal part of living. Anyone who spends any time around farms or medics (as I have done) loses any squeamishness pretty fast.

    However I’ve noticed a certain degree of squeamishness about almost any body process, sexual preference, or even that they have a body around KB’s comments section. I suspect that there are an awful lot of prudish urbanites amongst them. Always useful to use a lever at a level below the conscious level.

    However I’m sure someone can come up with something more effective than that.

    hs: Comes of having women around your life. In particular adolescent female relatives getting tutoring for exams. You stash a supply in the bathroom cupboard.

    The billboard does look like some kind of box packaging…

  52. Quoth the Raven 53

    Daveski – How about “Vote for Key get Douglas for free.” That one rhymes too.

  53. jaymam 54

    Here you go. Sorry I don’t have the correct font:
    http://i33.tinypic.com/2ebe51u.jpg

  54. John Dalley 55

    Was looking at your PDF link and act funds in particular.

    2006. Association of Consumers and Taxpayer $37 413.00
    2005. G Mallet $20 200.00
    Sky City $12 000.00

    Like Winnie maybe Rodney Should be investigated for undeclared funds
    $37 Thou to run act? and $32 the year before? got to worth the examination iwould have thought.

  55. randal 56

    when national would not run a candidate against wodney then how come it even cost that much?

    capcha: j. rolly….?

  56. Draco TB 57

    Now, where have I seen that imagery before?

  57. Dan 58

    Those planes are definitely coming home. Very few of our travellers head off to Chile or Argentina.
    Those fast forward arrows point into a vague future under National. Pretty honest there when we have few policies, or at least policies that are contradicted the moment they are released.
    The irony is that last time it was the billbooards that allowed the Nats to have a chance. If this is the best they can do, then I can understand why many on the left are so confident.
    By the way, who is the English Tory who subsidised the Howard campaign in Australia who was at Key’s place over the weekend? I guess the Nats and Conservatives could be considered brethren of sorts, but how exclusive?

  58. QoT 59

    My partner and I are fairly smart people. My first thought on reading this? “Holy fuck, are they actually saying people will die if I don’t vote National?” His first thought? “Holy shit, death camps?” Not exactly on-message, there.

    @Mike: really good point there. Not well-played, National.

  59. Which one is Biggles flying? Red fox to blue bomber command. Over.
    Red Barron 3 O’Clock over.

  60. gobsmacked 61

    Hang on, they’re not planes, they’re tyre marks.

    “Nice family you got. Loved ones, ain’t they great. Be a shame if sumfing happened to ’em, know what I mean guv?”

  61. There is no way we could muster enough pilots to fly such a squadron, just look at the Sky Hawks rotting away at great expense to the tax payer.They are now used to house rats. Oh well, we can throw stones at the Russian Bombers. Go comrades.

  62. How is that confusing? I know your a liberal, but think about it for a second and you might understand.

    I swear, and I have said it before, you guys are just like Fox News, if someone from the other side releases something, you act all confuse and try to play dumb.

    I would say 100% of people would get that.

  63. Brett, the loony Liberals’ like playing dumb and always throw a Conservative who dares to challenge them the wet pc victimhood card.They are pathetic wimps.

    Edit – Labour Blame the exclusive brethren for everything bad in kiwiland.

  64. mike 65

    Well its got you guys pretty excited – talking about tampons and war planes so can’t be that ineffective.

    The ‘weak’ story of the day SP is helen trying to smear the SFO and NZ Police for giving JK the heads up.

    The poor old girl has gone paranoid now – call an early election Labour First to put her out of her misery.

  65. Anita 66

    lprent,

    It looks like something for selling tampon?s. Trying to wrap something vaguely offensive in a non-intrusive, low-key, and designed not to cause divisiveness package.

    The most noticeable thing about tampon packages it that they do everything in their power to not look like tampon packages. For a start, why blue?!

    Strangely the most noticeable thing about the National campaign is how hard they try not to look like what’s inside.

  66. Dan 67

    Brett, get what?
    Our net emigration rate is not huge. We get lots of new, motivated migrants who replace the sad sacks who migrate to Australia thinking it is all goodness and light. We get lots of young people returning after their OE.
    The use of war-time allusions to exaggerate the loss overseas will not wash with many NZers who have all loved their experience overseas. And the things that most NZ travellers cling to when shouting NZ’s accomplishments to others are matters such as nuclear free, staying away from Iraq and clean and green, all of which are far stronger under Labour than would ever be possible under Brash or the new fellow.

  67. mike it is way past time the NEW ZEALAND POLICE stood up for the honour and oath.

  68. bomber 69

    Hey why aren’t you guys all over the latest issue regarding John Key?

    http://www.tumeke.blogspot.com

    Lord Ashcroft I presume?

  69. The Nats have hit the spot again. Check out their other billboards at http://rodneygrub.blogspot.com

  70. Dean 71

    SP:

    “I laughed out loud when i saw that billboard. That’s not to say the others will necessarily do better, but this is pretty poor.”

    Did you also laugh out loud when Clark talked about the SFO?

    Somehow I think your sense of humour is entirely manufactured.

    It’s alright though, you don’t have to answer this one. Just like when you are called out on all matters pertaining to your own good sense, you just ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen.

  71. Patrick 72

    Love your work Rodney! (Wow, never thought I’d say that)

    Captcha: Richman great – their next billboard?

  72. randal 73

    the sfo is like everything else in this sandpit of the pacific. it has been infantilised beyond repair and its bye bye sfo straight after the election. and whats more I dont ever recall them ever having detected a serious fraud. just another waste of time from typical kiwi bignoters looking for an office or more like a sinecure where they can have drinky poos with the rich folks on friday nights and go home pretending they are somebodies.

  73. Tane 74

    Bomber bro, I’m sure someone will get round to it tomorrow. I only heard about it half an hour ago over a beer with a mate who still watches the TV news.

  74. Dean 75

    bomber:

    “Hey why aren’t you guys all over the latest issue regarding John Key?

    http://www.tumeke.blogspot.com

    Lord Ashcroft I presume?”

    Because it’s a non-event, perhaps?

    And in shocking news, Peters meets with potential foreign, nuke-loving lots of money bag-woman Rice.

    Bomber, it’s time to get a new tack mate.

    captcha: calamari heads. Somehow fitting, don’t you think?

  75. Bomber is as boring and predicable as Lickspittle Radio NZ and TVNZ.Yawn,yawn, change the record boring bomber.

  76. Roger 77

    Is someone proposing higher taxes? Didn’t the government just announce lower taxes? Did I miss National’s tax policy announcement? Or will they be raising taxes via user pays? All very confusing.

  77. deemac 78

    wave goodbye to your job? this is just begging for parodies…

  78. jbc 79

    while I agree it is not a strong billboard when compared with the iwi/kiwi ones: it still carries a message.

    makes sense to me: I left NZ shortly after the 39c rate came in to force. I’d love to be back in NZ too – if it were a little less costly.

    it will probably hit the spot with my parents too: all their grandkids born and growing up overseas.

  79. Tane 80

    jbc. NZ’s tax wedge is among the lowest in the OECD. But if you’re going to find a corner and have a wee cry over a few cents in the dollar over $60k then all power to you.

    In terms of it being too ‘costly’ to live in New Zealand the real issue is wages, which fell or stagnated for most NZers under National’s policies in the 1990s and opened the wage gap with Australia by 50%.

  80. jbc 81

    tane: my current average tax rate is 12%. Last time I ran the numbers it would cost me about $55k in additional personal tax. No, I’m not crying about it.

    That’s not counting all of the additional tax that IRD would then want to assess via the CFC rules.

    I can still come back for holidays and it doesn’t cost me anywhere that much.

  81. Tane 82

    Ah, so you’re one of the insanely wealthy elite in the top 1 or 2% of income earners. I agree mate, you’ve got it hard. Who wants to pay tax?

  82. deemac 83

    plus of course if all you want is more for yourself you just go wherever tax is lowest and build a big fence to keep out the nasty poor people – don’t think many Kiwis would be happy in those countries for long.
    And in any case international labour mobility is now a fact of life all round the world – it has its positives and its negatives but the idea that people should never work abroad is unrealistic.

  83. jbc 84

    Tane, if being on a decent salary for a self-employed IT contractor makes me insanely wealthy then I’m guilty as charged. Feel free to hold that against me. As far as the industry goes then it’s nothing special. Used car salesman and plumbers probably earn more.

    I would be happy to pay more tax to enjoy living in NZ – a lot more tax – but I feel that at present that I’m actively discouraged from doing so.

  84. johndoe 85

    oh, god. “insanely wealthy” at that rate does not compute. wtf are you guys smoking? Should we all be making the crap money you do?

  85. T-Rex 86

    Wave goodbye to empty slogans.

    Please.

  86. burt 87

    Tane

    You link to the Waitemata Trust, good on you.

    Could you please link to the trusts that funded Winston and the New Zealand First party. I’m sure their names and the amount they donated are on the NZ1 party returns – Doooh.

    We don’t know who that are but we are learning day to day. Winston voted for the EFA ? Along with Labour?

    You do look silly when you name trusts that a party returns shows their name and the amount of money they donated. In todays political landscape of unknown trusts propping up the Labour-led govt such denigration is so 2005.

  87. jbc 88

    deemac:

    plus of course if all you want is more for yourself you just go wherever tax is lowest and build a big fence to keep out the nasty poor people – don’t think many Kiwis would be happy in those countries for long.

    Nasty poor people? Are they nasty rich people gone bankrupt?

    If anything, deemac, spending time in countries with real poverty will strengthen any thinking, decent New Zealander’s concern for the poor. It will also give them great respect for some of the positive aspects of NZ’s employment law (holidays, minimum wage, etc).

    And in any case international labour mobility is now a fact of life […]

    Of course it is. I left for a change of scenery (good), but I stayed for the tax differential (not so good). It’s the long term drift that is important. Ireland reversed theirs. Can NZ?

    Back to the topic of the billboard: I’m under no delusion that National will be making any significant changes in the area of tax, but at least they give a hat tip in this direction (rather than the poke in the eye that Labour delivered in 2000).

  88. jbc. if you pay 12% tax and returning to nz would cost you $55K in tax, you have an income of $237K a year. 1.5% of people have an income over 150K. 50% of kiwis have an income less than 27K. I’m more concerned with those people than whether your net income is $210K or $165K, or cutting the 39% rate would put about 10K in your pocket but do nothing for most people.

    Now, I don’t earn anything like as much as you but I do earn within the top 10% of income earners, and I don’t begrudge any of the tax I pay. It is the cost of running a society that treats me very well. It treats you even better, maybe you should acknowledge how fortunate you are and realise that without tax that good fortune would not be possible.

  89. jbc 90

    Steve, I’m also more concerned for those on the bottom (a fact which causes great arguments in my household). I have no argument with the essence of your post, however I don’t think you can extrapolate my nag with NZ tax to a disregard of the poor. Those things are not exclusively joined.

    I toyed with (and scratched) some long replies here but can’t avoid drifting OT significantly. Another day, another thread.

    I’ll just leave it at this: the billboard, dull as it is, does present a message that I can relate to.

  90. Paul Campbell 91

    Fish in a barrel: “Wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones, they can’t afford the tolls”

  91. Paul Campbell 92

    (I’m glad they left that space at the bottom)

  92. Dom 93

    Wave goodbye to your new job.
    We’ll give employers the power to fire you after your first ninety days.

  93. Crank 94

    This thread resembles something from Kiwiblog.

    Lots of petty people trying to be as spitefull as possible with failed attempts at wit.

    The bill board is ho hum at best but this reflects the Nats tactics well. Labour are doing a fantastic job of losing the election so they have to try not to scare any potential voters off with messages that may be too devisive.

    I am certain that if a change in tact is required they will start thumping out the “a vote for labour is a vote for Winston” line.

  94. randal 95

    crank…of course lots of people are being spiteful…thats the nature of the game. read Seutonius on Julius Ceasar. nothing has changed. the only thing is people in New Zealand realise that Labour gives them a fair deal while National is about tossing everybody who does not come up to their standards to the dogs. cyber space is not real while Labour will win the election no matter how many spiteful tories clog up the cyber channels

  95. Dom 96

    Actually Crank there have been some very successful witty lines espoused in this thread – Tane’s is my favourite :
    Wave goodbye to Air New Zealand
    We’re selling that too

  96. Bill 97

    First billboard = unspeakably bad. Deliberately so. Their other ones will be very slick and by the time they are out and about, everyone will be focussed on them thanks to the hook that most of us are taking.

    Well done us. Hook, line and sunk.

  97. Felix 98

    Brett that number, 100%…

    I do not think it means what you think it means.

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