National’s Advertising Campaign

The expense return from National tells us quite a bit about what mediums they chose to advertise in, which is interesting to analyse.  I’ve summarised and compiled them in descending order.

Item  Cost
Billboards  $ 422,550
Creative Contractors  $ 335,650
Final fortnight newspaper ads  $ 322,345
TV/Radio Ads production  $ 194,282
Pamphlets  $ 187,900
Direct Mail  $ 157,013
Internet Ads  $ 113,565
Campaign Song  $   79,912
Marchandise  $   51,231
Hoardings  $   43,888
North Shore buses  $   29,037
Staff  $   26,697
Auto phone-calling  $   26,339
Ethnic Newspapers  $   20,255
Woman’s Day  $   14,516
Campaign Bus  $   10,697
Misc  $     6,253
Events  $     5,899
Website/Social Media  $     4,513

So billboards were the largest expense item, which is no surprise as they have been a hallmark of the 2005 and 2008 campaigns also. The contractors were next largest item followed by the final fortnight newspaper ads in all metro and provincial daily newspapers.

The taxpayer may pay for the airing of the TV and radio ads, but paid almost $200,000 to produce them.  Pamphlets and Direct Mail were then next largest costs.

A fairly significant proportion of the budget was spent on Internet – over $110,000. And the bastards didn’t spend a single cent on on Kiwiblog 🙁

Someone did well out of the campaign song at almost $80,000.

Over $25,000 spent on auto phone calls. Personally I hate them and think they piss people off and cause them to not vote for you. But having said that it would be interesting if National measured turnout rate amongst those who got and did not get an auto phone call to see if they had an impact.

When you look at what you get for $2 million, it isn’t a lot. I don’t think anyone can claim our spending limits are too high, when they are less than $1/voter. The majority went on four newspaper ads, 97 billboards, two pamphlets of which one was direct mailed, and some Internet advertising. This is hardly drowning the voters in advertising.

I’ll be doing a similar analysis for other significant parties.

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