How Labor used a lettuce to talk about the cost of living

“We knew where their weak spots were and we knew where we had to be. We had to advocate for change ultimately, and it had to be safe change because we knew at that time that the world was a bit unstable so there was no mood for change at the moment. era, but we knew by the time the campaign came along, it would be different,” she said.

The war in Ukraine has made the Labor camp nervous, with Ms Madigan noting that international affairs can often work in favor of the Liberal Party.

“I think Scott Morrison’s handling of a few international issues had made people think he wasn’t the person I trusted, and it was just a general distrust of him in a crisis, so the Ukrainian issue didn’t help her as much as she probably would have hoped,” she said.

Overall, Campaign Edge delivered 399 Federal Labor Party ads, scaled down from 600 scripts.

There were 103 negative ads and 212 positive ads, with the first launch ad designed to position Mr Albanese as a leader, lay out his plan for the country and give Australians a sense of who he is as a person.

“With his ads, it was about making sure he looked like a leader, looked down, spoke well, which he does anyway, and had a plan. for Australia,” Ms Madigan said.

“Our initial commercials went a bit to his backstory, that feeling where he’s from is important to people, it’s interesting, and when he talks about his mother, there’s real emotion. It’s a very emotional guy about his mother and it’s really beautiful to see, so we were happy to show it as well.

Campaign Edge’s Dee Madigan Campaign benefit

Campaign Edge was also primed with advocacy ads for known territory the Liberal Party would try to target, such as a perception that Labor is weak around the budget.

The Liberal Party’s response to this has been leaked advertising, which has been decried by marketing experts as “very irritating”.

But Ms Madigan doesn’t think it was actually bad publicity, but rather bad strategy.

“He was exhausted more than he deserved. It was quite catchy and it contained some strong ideas,” she said.

“And that was on what was a Labor weakness, which is they seem to be the party that spends the money, the only problem is when you double the debt before COVID, and we had a ad ready to go because we knew they would attack us on it, so we had the calculator ad ready to go.

This advert begins with the line ‘Scott Morrison doesn’t hold a pipe, but he should have held a calculator’ before describing where Labor claims he wasted money and tripled his debt.

All of Campaign Edge’s attack adverts for Mr Morrison were built around his own words ‘that’s not my job’, and were designed to remind Australians of their current disappointment in him as a leader.

“Campaigns only work when they amplify existing sentiment. If you’re going to make a negative announcement, where it’s against a person, you don’t want to make personal attacks on them, it’s much better to present to people their own words and let them do it for themselves,” says Madigan.

“Advertising works best when you show people and lead them there, you don’t tell them what to think.”

And for Labour, while there was a consistent message around its ad campaign, there was no “spray and pray” strategy, with ads targeting seats that were in danger of changing.

The seat that needed the most publicity was NSW’s Gilmore – the seat Labor finally retained last week, giving the party its necessary 77 seats in the House of Representatives to claim a clear mandate for a majority government.

“We knew this seat was in danger, we knew that [Liberal candidate] Andrew Constance had local popularity, but we knew his record as NSW Transport Minister in terms of overseas maritime jobs was a weak spot,” Ms Madigan said.

“We knew our positive was jobs and our negative against him was overseas jobs.”

Although there is no “spray and pray” approach, the Labor Party spent big in the 2022 election campaign, spending $2.5 million more than the Liberal Party.

The PLA has spent a total of $13.08 million on television, radio, digital, social and outdoor billboard ads, according to Nielsen Ad Intel data, since the election was called on April 10 until the media blackout period which began at midnight on the Wednesday before Election Day.

The Liberal Party spent $10.54 million. Both figures only include money spent on outdoor billboards in April, with any investment made in May not included. As the media ban laws only apply to broadcast media, i.e. television and radio, the expenditure figure is likely to be much higher.

A total of $55,998,852 was spent on campaign advertising throughout the campaign. Ms. Madigan says you don’t want to spend less on a campaign.

“You want someone to see an ad five to seven times for it to work,” she said.

“With the internet, there are more places where people can ignore you because you can access it more easily, but they also disconnect more easily. You have to make sure you spend enough because disengaged voters, they’re not interested, you have to pay for their eyes. It’s the only way to get them.”

And for Ms Madigan, as she watched election night coverage, she reflected on what she would have changed in the campaign.

“There was nothing, which was a very good feeling, and it’s very unusual, normally there are a few things, but I think we gave it our all, and we did it well,” said she declared. “We stuck to the strategy.”

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