The un-Australian campaign has been fairly well pummelled in the press. So much so that I don’t think I’ve heard the Government give it a serious response or the Coalition giving it any credence either. That being said, below are a few learnings from the campaign.
- Don’t skimp on sub-editing or copy-writing. There are at least two typos in the $20 million ad. Address has two Ds. Choose how you want to spell licence.
- Just because you use Facebook and Twitter, doesn’t mean people will automatically like or follow you.
- The public are a lot cleverer than they used to be – they know when they are being used.
- “Australia is a nation of gamblers” is a dumb thing to say. People don’t want to be gamblers, they enjoy a good punt, they like a flutter or two.
- People don’t consider playing the pokies gambling. Two-up – yes, blackjack – yes, horse racing – yes. There is something about those pastimes that have more symbolism than the pokies.
- People know people with a gambling problem in Australia.
- Don’t use website tools such as online polls and then publish the live results unless you are sure the results will show support your campaign.
- If point 4 backfires, don’t leave the tool on your website for 48 hours until you come up with something to put in its place
- Don’t be too brazen with your spin. No one has ever seriously proposed a licence for gamblers except you.
- As an addition to point 7 – Don’t treat people like idiots
- Why is it un-Australian to stop problem gamblers gambling?
- Pay for polling and focus groups before you launch a campaign like this. The ad buy is around $20 million – you can afford it.
- Don’t ever, ever just assume because you are running a campaign, it will get support. This campaign stinks of industry types coming together saying we need to fight back against the government, therefore if we use strategy a from campaign a and strategy b from campaign b and then utilise the tactics from campaign c, we are onto a winner. More often than not, these tactics haven’t been thought about properly. Will they fit my campaign? Will they educate people they way I want to educate them?
- Don’t leave yourself open to very clever attacks like the one to the right.
So, campaigning for the 2012 US Presidential Election has finally begun. I love this time of the election cycle, where we can review ads, dissect them and work out who is going to do well and place bets on who will be the first to sack their campaign staff.
Mitt Romney has just formally announced his candidacy by affirmed his reputation as captain boring as he introduces himself in a two minute chat about what he did last week. What is strange about this kind of introductory film is that it’s not as though people don’t know who Mitt Romney is. He was a serious candidate to be the 2008 Republican Nominee; he was Governor of
Minnesota Massachusetss; he has been listed as a potential 2012 candidate since Obama’s win. So why does he need to introduce himself this way? He should remind people of his points of view and convictions, especially when he has been tarnished in the eyes of the Right by his version of Obama Care and people are suspicious of his religion. He has to show his morals are the same as the next good right wing American’s and I don’t think he does here.
On the flip side of the coin, Tim Pawlenty (or T-Paw according to his website) clearly has employed Jonathan Demme to direct his campaign ads. I’d watch this movie, but I wouldn’t vote for the guy. It’s an interesting concept to use an attack ad to launch a Presidential candidacy, especially when Pawlenty is an unknown compared to Romney. He should mix this, with Romney’s and he would have a much better ad.
I’ll review Obama’s ad in the next few days
Yesterday, a number of my friends and I went to the Rally for Climate Action at Belmore Park. It was a great event with some good speakers, in-particular Simon Sheikh from Get-Up.
I was however very disappointed there were no ALP representatives there. This is, after all, their policy that they are trying to sell and they should have representatives ready to speak to a crowd of supporters. It may be because they are scared of being labelled hypocrites by the Coalition if there are extreme leftists holding up anti-Abbott placards. Or it could be because the ALP are the party of Government, and in the eyes of some who would have been in attendance, they have made some questionable decisions regarding asylum seekers, banking, etc. etc. so there is always the prospect of anti-Government feeling, which would then become the story.
But within that audience, there was a good deal of respect for the Government for launching a pragmatic environmental policy that has led to negativity and even attacks from some on the right-wing. Essentially, the left is displaying our martyr worship again.
Anyway, below is an incredibly short video, just to show the size of the crowd.
38 degrees has done it and now Get Up has apparently done it. The online campaigning by 38 Degrees has led to the Tory led Coalition in the UK overturning its decision to sell off hundreds of thousands of acres of public owned forest. Lots has already been written about the campaign and you can see a good overview here at Tom Baker’s blog.
But here in Australia, Get Up has had a similar win, or so it claims. The ALP Government has been lobbying the independents to pass its Flood Levy, however the Government’s other cuts, including cuts to education and green energy programmes have been sticking points. Obviously, these were always designed to be negotiation points, but after reinstating a number of the programmes in response to independent and Green demands, the Levy Bill passed the lower house and will probably get though the Senate. Get Up has taken a lot of credit for this, they got enough donations for a full-page ad in one of our leading papers, as well gaining 31,000 signatures in a week. That is all very impressive granted. However, when I say they are taking a lot of credit, I mean they are taking a lot of credit. No doubt a significant amount is internal PR, but I don’t they can take the credit that the 38 Degrees can take for getting the forestry bill overturned.
Get Up was praised by Greens Senate Leader Bob Brown and the Independents for their tireless work, although, this was at a Get Up press conference.
However, my point isn’t that Get Up isn’t a hard-working, succesful and worthy organisation, I just think 38 Degrees has pulled off something far more significant as a result of their actions. There were marches in the streets and petitions of over 500,000 people. At the same time though, even 38 Degrees’ success isn’t all thanks to them. They also have an increasingly popular opposition on their side. and I think it was an issue the Tories were willing to hand over so they could convince the public that they were reasonable people.
Also, there is still the NHS fight to be fought. That result will truly show the strength of the progressive grassroots campaigners.