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.
|Creative Contractors||$ 335,650|
|Final fortnight newspaper ads||$ 322,345|
|TV/Radio Ads production||$ 194,282|
|Direct Mail||$ 157,013|
|Internet Ads||$ 113,565|
|Campaign Song||$ 79,912|
|North Shore buses||$ 29,037|
|Auto phone-calling||$ 26,339|
|Ethnic Newspapers||$ 20,255|
|Woman’s Day||$ 14,516|
|Campaign Bus||$ 10,697|
|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 National paid almost $200,000 to produce them. Pamphlets and Direct Mail were then next largest costs.
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.