I’ve got to admit a soft spot for the ad that goes ping – Labor’s bings and buzzers spot. It’s an interesting mix of negative and positive and the way colour appears at the end.

It seems I’m not alone. Researchers from the University of South Australia’s Institute of Marketing Science have asked Adelaide voters about which political ads they liked the most.

Bings and buzzers won, along with “I’m sorry Mr Howard, but you’ve lost me” – two Labor ads.

“The ads were favoured because they were seen to be true/believable (32%), clever (18%) or raising an issue of importance (18%),” Jenni Romaniuk, the head of brand equity research says.

“Some direct quotes from respondents about the bings and buzzer ad reflect this. It was seen to be ‘simple and did not have a personal attack, just stuck to issues’ and ‘quite short, sharp and shiny and it picked on some major issues that I am passionate about’.”

Romaniuk says Labor ads (15%) were liked more than Liberal ads (8%), but all in all, there was not much positive comment about any of the political ads. Seventy five percent of all those surveyed, however, could not name one political ad that appealed to them, but “around half the people we spoke to were able to talk about the advertisement they disliked the most. Of these voters, ads about Labor’s link to Trade Unions were the most commonly mentioned (29%).”

The University of South Australia research has more bad news for the Liberal Party in a state where up to six seats they hold are in play.

“We found that undecideds tended to dislike Liberal ads (56%) rather than Labor ads (44%),” Romaniuk says.

“They were also much more likely to find Labor ads appealing (71%) than Liberal ads (29%). If advertising works, then it would be assumed that these undecided voters are swinging Labor’s way.”

Meanwhile, another Roy Morgan Reactor on political advertising is now available for you to follow here (click below for a larger version):


Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey