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Media and Communications

Negative vs Positive political advertising:

Negative vs Positive political advertising:


Hi everyone. I’m Dr Andrew Hughes here from the ANU talking
about my research into why it is negative political advertising does not work. Before we can do that though, lets look at
an ad which does work, which really gets our attention and keeps it all the way from second
one. This is Ryanville. This is a car ad from the US superbowl this
year. It’s a great example of an ad which does work. There’s a celebrity in it, for sure, but look
at the speed, the music, we can just sit back and enjoy this one. This is a great watch. We can enjoy watching this and that’s the
key to effective advertising; that you enjoy watching the ad because it means you like
it and you can recall the information quite favourably and you develop a preference towards
the brand talked about in the message. It’s a great example of why advertising can
be effective. Okay. Now we’ve seen one which does work. Now lets see one which does not work and that’s
a political ad. This is from Bill Shorten from this years
campaign. So, first thing we can see Bill Shorten, so
our attitude towards politicians comes to our head, which isn’t favourable and then
we’ve got all these words here on the screen. Now, there’s one over here. You can see some words up here about their
messaging and even though it’s a very short ad, there’s a lot of content in that for us to remember,
and engage with, and really connect with, and at the same time it’s a political ad;
we’re switching off them, not on them. So, even though it’s a positive ad what my
research found is that that’s still not effective at getting our attention and making us recall
the message in it. Surely that’s one example. There’s others. Lets look at this one here from Malcolm Turnbull. Again, a positive message and he’s the prime
minister so he should be able to get our attention from second one. But the same time, he’s a politician. So, think of our awareness in politics at
the moment; it’s there, but at the same time we’re sick of this campaign. But here’s where it’s going wrong. Look at all the words on the screen here. They want us to remember, and read, and engage
with these words what we’re seeing on the screen, but we don’t. Because our attitude towards the ad is negative. Even though it’s a positive message, our attitude
is negative. So we’re not paying any attention to these
words here on the screen, which means all these words here are a waste. We aren’t going to remember them. If we’re not going to remember them then it’s
pointless having them there in the first place, which is what my research found is that people
don’t remember these words here on the screen. They’re not recalled by people from watching
these ads. Okay. Let’s look at an example of an ad which does
work. This is a political ad which worked really
well and my research found this to be the most liked and recalled message of all the
ones I studied and examined and you can see why. Look at this. The words here on the screen: simple, they’re
easy for us to read, they come up on the screen slow, we have time to engage in it, and the
crazy thing about this ad is it wasn’t even made by a political party. It was made by an advertising agency for a
tv show. So, when the shackles are removed and advertising
agencies are given free rein, they make an ad like this. Positive, nice music, engaging all the way
through, picked up by the fact that down here so far it’s got nearly 40,000
views on YouTube. The other ads I’ve shown you have only got
a couple hundred at best. So, it’s a case in point where the market
does speak and as marketers and advertisers, you know, we need to engage with our market and
that’s a good sign that we are, down here. Okay. But can negative advertising ever be effective? Can it ever get our attention to some point
or description? Good question, right? So, it can if we use humour and humour takes
off the edge, as it were, on the negatively of the message itself. We tend to watch it because it’s funny, it’s
amusing, but at the same time we’re not liking the message because it’s still negative and
it’s still from a politician. So, even though we’re engaged with the message
some what and we can recall parts of the ad, what we recall is that we hate the message
cause it’s negative. So, that’s my research found that people recalled
negative ads, yes they did, but what they recalled is how much they hate these things
when they see them. So, if anything, it was turning people off
the message and off the politics. Alright. Lets see if there’s someone out there in politics
who believes me and supports what I’m saying. Is there someone? There is. I’m safe and it’s in fact from labor and it’s
from Sam Dastyari and it’s proving here why negative ads don’t work. You can see out of the mouths of these kids
themselves, kids are always honest with their opinions about things aren’t they, and you
can hear what they’re talking about. They don’t like the negative ad and does Sam? Lets see what he thinks. Of course. So, if you’re wondering, even politicians
themselves recognise the fact that negative political ads don’t work. Alright. Thanks for listening. Hope you found this enjoyable and interesting. For more information, please go to our website. You’ll find more information there.

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