I was thinking the government ads about transport upgrades back in 2009-10 (Labor) are pretty similar to 2014 (Coalition).
How would it be if I got them both and dubbed the audio of one over the video of another?
The 2010 version is mostly about trains; the 2014 one has been chopped a tad to remove around 15 seconds that was about East West Link. But it’s surprising how well they fit. (The full unedited versions are shown below.)
This time around, Channel 7 reports ads like this have cost at least $3.2 million so far.
Comparing 2010 to 2014
Let’s play a little game of Spot The Difference.
|2009-2010 – Labor
|2013-2014 – Coalition
|Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said the ad campaign should now be considered “electioneering” and withdrawn immediately. He vowed to cut advertising spending in the transport portfolio if the Coalition won government in November. “If I’m the transport minister, the money I have available to me will be going into nuts and bolts business, not self-promotion,” he said.
|Rather than invest in public transport Napthine Govt invests in advertising 2 tell us how good it is. But you can’t spin lived experience!
— Jill Hennessy, Labor Public Transport Spokesperson, 28/2/2014, Twitter
Denis Napthine will fight for his survival with the last dollar of your money #springst
Is advertising ever justified?
Yes, sure it is. Public transport is a product which competes against other modes of travel, particularly cars.
But it the ads should be informative, or at the very least should tell you why (even at a high level) you should be using the product.
Some of the ads have been informative at some level. From the sample above (and it is only a sample), Labor’s newspaper ads and the Coalition’s billboard/noticeboard ads have some level of useful information in them.
Amazingly, none of the Coalition’s ads spell out a huge improvement they’ve delivered in the last couple of years, but almost totally failed to promote: frequent weekend trains on much of the network.
And the TV ads in particular, placed by both sides of politics over the years, tell you very little — they seem purely design to try and convince you that your Government is doing Good Things with your money.
Update 13/8/2014: The video mashup features in this Age story today: State transport ad campaign costs mount
It’s worth noting that from comparing these ads, while the current Coalition campaign promotes a lot of projects that are years away from completion (and in some cases haven’t been fully funded yet), most of the Labor campaign from 2010 focussed on projects which were then at the delivery stage, or at least were fully funded.