National’s Advertising Campaign

March 26th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

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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17 Responses to “National’s Advertising Campaign”

  1. virtualmark (1,423 comments) says:

    $80,000 for a campaign song??? Really, did anyone decide to vote for National because they liked the song???

    Personally, I couldn’t tell you what the song was, and I really don’t care what the song was. Seems like $80,000 they could have put into more billboards and internet advertising to me.

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  2. Nick R (443 comments) says:

    I’d be really interested in seeing some research on the effectiveness of automated phone calls in NZ. We got one and I honestly could not believe it – I just burst out laughing and then asked my wife to listen – she had much the same reaction.

    As for the campaign song – what was it?

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  3. somewhatthoughtful (437 comments) says:

    $335k on creative contractors? Name and shame, Nationals campaign featured some of the worst creative I’ve ever seen!

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  4. Auberon (820 comments) says:

    It was the Feelers. I thought it was an excellent campaign song. A good year for them, as they got to sing the Rugby World Cup campaign song too.

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  5. AlphaKiwi (684 comments) says:

    I’m still curious as to who the hell makes their voting decision because of a seeing a billboard. :)

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  6. Graeme Edgeler (3,222 comments) says:

    There wasn’t a single newspaper ad – even in local newspapers – that promoted both the candidate and the National Party? Whodda thunk?

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  7. dime (8,787 comments) says:

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

    Thats cause you are one big national ad and you do it for free!

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  8. virtualmark (1,423 comments) says:

    I thought the National Party campaign song was this one, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19bbUN3YX04

    But seriously. I like the Feelers. Been to the concerts. Have the song on my iPod. But I’ll wager that at least 50% of National’s demographic thinks the Feelers are just noisy guitars, and would rather just have that nice Val Doonican fella.

    $80k wasted.

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  9. JamesP (76 comments) says:

    Link for the song please :)

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  10. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Four newspaper ads. Yep. Safe to say the left-leaning rule makers have done a good job controlling the messaging we hear around election time. What a joke.

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  11. XChequer (350 comments) says:

    Panda did extremely well out of the deal it seems.

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  12. Cobolt (82 comments) says:

    You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who admits to voting because of the song but it will have affected some swing voters, almost subliminally, that’s what it is meant to do.

    It’s the swing voters they are targeting, that’s the upside to National not having any major coalition partners, there aren’t many parties they can bleed core voters to. It’s the same reason Kiwiblog didn’t get any advertising dollars, no point wasting money preaching to the converted. Beside they probably figured DPF was getting enough $ via the polling operation :)

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  13. twmcsw (5 comments) says:

    Advertising on Kiwiblog?

    Why, would have been a huge waste of money.

    Preaching to the converted!

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  14. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    No mention of how much was spent on KFC………….Ohhh thats right only Labour have that expense.

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  15. somewhatthoughtful (437 comments) says:

    You’re an idiot backster

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  16. burt (7,096 comments) says:

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

    Good luck with Winston First… hell it seems to take the privileges committee to get him to be honest about his funding….

    Oh and for Labour – how do you count all the time from the unions and how transparent is their KFC voucher system ?

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  17. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    Dooooh – you did say “significant” ….

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