Friday, October 28, 2011

Campaign launch broadcasts

Buried in election law (or something) is a requirement that TVNZ—the state-owned broadcaster—has to air the party political broadcasts of—well, I’m not quite sure who. Apparently it has something to do with polling, and only three parties are polling above the 5% MMP threshold, so those three had party broadcasts tonight.

First up was the conservative National Party—could it possibly be any worse? Actually, nothing was right with this trainwreck: The lighting was horrible, making John Key look like a cadaver (at best) or like some sort of undead fiend. The canned “question” section was mostly filmed from the back, so maybe the person shown didn’t actually ask the question? Amazingly, National’s crowd camera managed to find only non-Pakeha people in the audience. Amazing.

John Key was horrible. Boring, monotone and totally ignoring the fake questions asked. Seriously, what’s the point of asking a patsy question if you ignore them to talk about something totally irrelevant? Can John Key not stay on topic? Is his attention span really that short?

Worse, there was a long list of technical faults: Bad lighting, terrible camera angles, jerky camera and through it all an annoying audio buzz/hum. Honestly, you’d swear the thing was made by some kid with a camera planning to post it to YouTube—except some kid with a camera could do a FAR better job than these jokers did.

Labour was next (video above) and it was lightyears better: On point, on topic and—gasp!—interesting. A little history, a little preaching, all in an entirely accessible format. They talked issues in an accessible way, clearly stated their positions and why they hold them. The average person could understand that.

Labour’s video suffered none of the technical gaffes of National, which matters.

The final video tonight was from the Greens. They were okay: The best party on environmental issues, hands down, the only party to even mention MMP in their broadcast—it was a good effort. And yet, not quite good enough.

So, I rank Labour the clear and far ahead winner, followed by the Greens in fourth place (Labour took one, two and three…), and National in tenth place (and I’m being extremely generous letting them in the top ten…). Does National even have a media professional working with them? From the evidence, I’d guess not.

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