Firewall strategy?

Roy Morgan has tested election ads and found that the Coalition’s negative ads polarise voters – making those leaning to Labor more inclined to vote ALP, and appealling only to Coalition supporters. Their ostensible purpose is to frighten swinging voters away from Rudd, so this is an interesting finding. Could it be that they’re really about defending the silver and not winning the election?

Incidentally, are there any positive Coalition ads? At all?

Posted in federal election '07
22 comments on “Firewall strategy?
  1. pre-dawn leftist says:


    No there aren’t, at least none that I’ve seen. Here in Bennelong we are bombarded daily by Coalition print ads – all of them negative.

    It just proves it – they have nothing positive to offer.

  2. jt says:

    “Incidentally, are there any positive Coalition ads? At all?”

    What a good question. For the life of me I cannot recall seeing a single positive Coalition advert this campaign. I originally thought I perhaps wasn’t watching enough tv to notice them however the sheer volume of anti-union coalition ads I’m seeing now (two per ad break this morning for example) has me asking the same question.

    As for the purpose and effect of the adverts, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised by the research. Anyone who’s already made up their mind isn’t going to be swayed by them. The style and pitch of the ads do seem to work however for the swinging voters if Monday’s 4 Corners report was anything to go by. It’s clear there is a significant percentage of voters in Australia who seem unable or unwilling to critically engage with any political messages they’re receiving. These ads play on that fairly effectively it would seem.

    Thank goodness all this nonesense will be over soon. I miss the ads promoting endless consumption. 😉

  3. Stephen Bayne says:

    I remember seeing one at the beginning of the campaign which featured people saying how good things are under Howard and that there was no need for change. Problem is that it was a bit sugary and people including a worker and a young woman sounded totally unrealitic. I only saw it once. There was another one which was pretty much the same first one but without the robots.

  4. Ambigulous says:

    Her Majesty’s Vessel Menzies
    Orders of the day: Saturday 17th November

    (“In the Year of Our Lord 2007” may be taken as read, Ship’s Parson)

    Quarter Master has ordered strict counting of all Musket Balls in possession of crew; early results indicate that Quarter Master Costello himself has two fewer than standard issue.

    This morning’s firing at RBA headquarters has now been designated ‘target practice’ only. Full attack will be directed from Poop Deck.

    Midshipman Abbott will conduct ceremonies of ritual cleansing and penance on Sunday forenoon.

    All crew advised that on Saturday & Sunday, Captain is expecting to see many pleasure craft on waters, as locals besport themselves frivolously, most mysteriously unconcerned by the desperate battle we prosecute. We must go about our business with diligence, men. Pay no heed to the siren songs of drink, fishing, yachting and maidens in scanty sea costumes.

    Two of the horsewhipped grocers have perished and become shark meat. Less mouths to feed.

    All blunderbusses to be tested Saturday. Captain to be put ashore on Bennelong Point Saturday morn, HMV Menzies to return to collect his Official Party, when safe.

  5. Niz says:

    Perth TV has had the “local” campaign ads on the box that aren’t inherently negative. However, the last few nights they have been mashing both the anti uunion one and the local one together by pasting members for swan, stirling, hasluck etc on the end of it.

  6. derrida derider says:

    The negative tone of the Coalition ads is something that Labor should be pointing out in its own ads in pretty much he words of your last sentence – ie “all they can do is knock because they’ve got nothing positive going for them”.

    Maybe its just here in the ACT, but a surprise to me is the terrific amount of funds the conservatives apparently have – they must be putting several times more TV ads up than Labor. I’d have thought that, as the likely winners, the ALP would have been raking in the dough from business. It certainly makes a mockery of the ad where the Libs claim the unions are “buying the election with $30m”.

    Not that it’ll all make much difference in the end.

  7. Katz says:

    Can Mr Howard’s promise to retire before the next election be construed as a positive message?

  8. Ambigulous says:

    Ah, Katzie

    Now you’re clutching at straws. Not positive if $weetie is the anointed successor.

  9. Ambigulous says:

    Off topic, but….

    A treasured political comment… early 80’s, we’re chewing the fat over a forthcoming State election. I ask, “What do the polls say?”

    Lord Leonard swiftly responds: “Solidarnosc! Solidarnosc!! Solidarnosc!!!”


  10. Ambigulous says:

    Danke schoen Fraulein Katz,

    this too is off topic, aber es ist ein klein Geschenk fuer Sie ~

    “There are three things which are real: God, human folly and laughter.
    The first two are beyond our compregension
    So we must do what we can with the third”

    inscription on silver beer mug given to Dave Powers (assistant to President John F Kennedy) by JFK; attributed to JFK by Tom Wicker, 1964.

    auf wiedersehen

  11. silkworm says:

    Laurie Oakes has facetiously suggested the Coalition may have to resort to the line – “Don’t vote for Labor because they will abolish WorkChoices.”

  12. patrickg says:

    I haven’t seen any either, though I would like to take this opportunity to pose the question: why are the actors in political ads always so _so_ bad?

    If I see that snippy bint with the red hair “Sorry Mis-ter Howard, blah blah” one more time I’m gonna start puking blood. Who could possibly think that shrill harpy would appeal to anyone? What are the directors saying? “Over-emote EVERYTHING! It’s the only way to get through to the masses, and sound as smarmy and know-it-all as you possibly can, that’ll sway undecideds!”

    Gah. At least the “unions will eat your babies, and here’s a photo of Julia Gillard in her Annie Lennox homage photo!!!” are funny.

  13. The Rockstar Philosopher says:

    Have the coalition had anything positive to say in the last 11 years? If so, I haven’t seen it. To me it seems like a constant procession of fear, denial and the destruction of the things that make this country great.

    Ambiguous, German just looks wrong without umlauts 😛

  14. jinmaro says:

    “Have the coalition had anything positive to say in the last 11 years? If so, I haven’t seen it. To me it seems like a constant procession of fear, denial and the destruction of the things that make this country great.”

    Thanks so much for pointing out this simple truth TRP. And this has had a trickle-down effect too. E.g., LP regularly runs “I condemn” threads encouraging comments that allow people to vent their spleen at whatever they choose, (in practice usually quite disappointingly completely trivial and inconsequential things) that gets their goat.

    There’s never, ever, been an “I praise” thread.

    Revealing, huh?

  15. joe2 says:

    “Maybe its just here in the ACT, but a surprise to me is the terrific amount of funds the conservatives apparently have – they must be putting several times more TV ads up than Labor.”

    I would imagine, dd, that having paid out so much in taxpayer funded advertisements over the last year, to the right ad companies, they are just doing the fair thing.

    You know ,sought of making donations back.

  16. Ambigulous says:

    jawohl Rockstar, aber ich bin dumm, und kann nicht die umlauten schreiben

    The ALP ad with the
    contrast isn’t overacted,

    bloody good

  17. Anna Winter says:

    There’s never, ever, been an “I praise” thread.

    Revealing, huh?

    This from our most positive commenter, always with something nice to say.

  18. adam says:

    must agree ambigulous, that’s one of the great classics of political advertising already. what a massive effect. textbook mind-messing.

  19. Graham Bell says:

    Ambigulous [on 4]:
    That’s a Classified document. How did you get hold of it? Don’t lie or we’ll waterboard you again.

    [and on 8]:
    ” “Not positive if $weetie is the anointed successor”. ” Why do I keep thinking of Mao’s anointed sucessor, Lin Biao? 🙂 L-O-L.

  20. clarencegirl says:

    One or two positive ads airing in regional NSW of the simple ‘vote-for-me-I’m-wonderful’ kind.
    What is amusing is to hunt out those letters to the editor which have been force fed their statistics directly from Brian Loughnane of Liberal Party fame.
    Honestly, that man must think we are all stupid. Cut and paste letters ending with vote one for [insert name of Lib or Nat candidiate].
    Can’t wait until next Saturday ends all this nonsense.

  21. Ambigulous says:

    Graham Bell

    Lin Biao – now whatever happened to that nice young man, wasn’t he Treasurer or something for a while? I hope he didn’t turn into a teensy bit of a scaredy-cat !!

    Most recent orders of day for HMV Menzies appear nearby.

  22. David says:

    It’s quite remarkable that website for the liberal party is almost entirely about the Labor Party.

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