Sunday, February 28, 2016
The video above, “A flag by New Zealand, for New Zealand” is the long version ad made by Change The Flag NZ, which is, as far as I know, the only campaign in favour of changing the New Zealand flag in next month’s referendum. Neither it nor the shorter versions have been on TV yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be.
The ad features some well-known New Zealanders from various walks of life, including journalists, two former Prime Ministers (from the National Party), two Mayors of Wellington, the former Mayor of Christchurch, former All Black Dan Carter, among others. A much shortened television-friendly 15-second version, "Vote For Change", is below, and another 15-second version is on their Facebook Page, but not on YouTube yet.
As such commercials go, I think these are pretty good, though this sort of thing doesn’t usually persuade anyone. Instead, they tend to rally people who already feel inclined to do the thing asked, in this case, voting for change. Even so, there’s value in that.
The mockery of the new flag and those who support change has been pretty relentless on social media, so ads like this may help rally some of the pro-change vote, something that almost certainly will be higher than polls indicate at the moment. Right now, polls are showing the existing flag with overwhelming support, but much of that looks to be soft support from people who intend to use the referendum to “send a message to John Key” (more about that tomorrow).
I’m voting for change, of course, but if the pro-existing flag side makes ads, I’ll share them, too, if possible. That figures, of course: I’m a political junkie and politics nerd WAY more than I’m a partisan in elections or referenda. Even so, because we’ll only have about three weeks of campaigning, there aren’t likely to be a lot of ads for either side.
There’s one thing I do agree with the majority about, though: Whatever happens, I’ll be glad when this is all over.