Should we do newspaper ads?

Despite my best efforts we’ve only spent online a fraction of the over $25,000 donated by 300 to 400 readers on the Promise Tracker ads. It has been extremely frustrating.

The first complication was my emergency appendectomy the Monday before last, just as I was hoping to start the campaign. Also this week I had a brief post-op infection.

But the bigger issue is Facebook makes it very hard to advertise! Certainly for a new customer. As it is a political ad, you need your identity verified by passport which took two attempts and 48 hours. Then you need to set up a special account registered just in NZ. Again took time. ThAnyway eventually got through all the bureaucracy and programmed in $15,000 of advertising. Except my credit card company declined the transaction as suspicious (I had transferred funds to cover it) so had to wait and redo the authorisation.

Anyway finally all go, but Facebook is barely spending $100 a day. It seems when you are a new customer, they won’t let you spend much. I guess they’re worried I’m a Russian bot or something.

As it became obvious Facebook wouldn’t spend the money in time, I set up an ad on Google to advertise to NZers. Again took quite some time to get approved as you need specific size ads, and again a credit card that gets approved.

But finally got Google Ads going and authorised to spend $8,000 a day. But so far it has spent zero. Don’t know why, and I haven’t got time or expertise to work it out in time. In hindsight, if I’d had the idea earlier, I would have hired a marketing company to do this.

Anyway where we are at is most of the $25,000 is unspent. We have two main options ahead.

Print advertising

For around $14,000 + GST I can run the Promise Tracker ad as a full page advertisement in the NZ Herald, Waikato Times, The Press and Dominion Post on Friday. Four full pages for $14,000 is pretty decent and a full page ad will grab’s people attention and hopefully have them look at some of the details.

Of course it is the day before the election, and over half of people have already voted. But personally I’m not too obsessed by that. To me this has always been more about making more people aware of how bad Labour’s failures has been, than thinking this will have a huge impact on the election. Also those who have already voted tend to be the committed voters. Undecided voters tend to wait until election day.

Print ads will probably also trigger some rage from those on the left. It is one thing to have your failures highlighted in small ads online. It is another thing to have them in your face as you read the morning newspaper.

Refund and/or War Chest

The other option is not to run the print advertising. If this is the case them after the election I’ll offer those who have donated two choices:

1 A full refund
2 Use the money donated for future ads

These will not be mutually exclusive. If we don’t do print ads, then someone people could opt for refunds and some for using the money in future.

The one thing that will not happen, is I keep the money and don’t spend it. This is not a money making exercise for me. To the contrary I have spent a score or so hours unpaid on trying to make these happen.

The idea for future ads is that if Labour is re-elected we update the advertisement every six or 12 months and run it as a regular feature. Basically to keep up the pressure on them and remind people (unless they improve) that they are basically incompetent at delivery.

Anyway I need to decide before 5 pm today about whether or not to do the print ads. If you donated money, feel free to comment below about what your preference is in terms of going ahead with the print ads or not.

UPDATE: Thanks for feedback. Clear overall support for doing the print adverts so have booked space in Herald, Waikato Times and The Press.

There will be a surplus, so after the election can decide what to do with that.

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