As John Armstrong said in the NZ Herald, the Greens are on a roll in the polls, have largely shed their image as a "bunch of bicycle-clip-wearing eco-obsessives", and "have made their strongest pitch yet to be treated as serious participants in the debate on economic policy". The National Party don't think much of the 'Green Wave', and neither does Act for that matter. But the Green Party hopes to convince the public with its new campaign, which is positioned around the primary message of voting ‘For a richer New Zealand’. The campaign was timed with the party's unveiling of its Green Jobs Initiative, which plans to create 100,000 clean green job that will "be at the heart of a new economy for New Zealand".
Created by Running With Scissors, the campaign looks at the meaning of prosperity by providing a platform for Party goals over the next three years: clean rivers, green jobs and bringing children out of poverty.
“With the Green Party we have co-created the strategy, developed the concept and ensured the primary message is clear and simple,” says Running With Scissors' Andy Mitchell. “The Green Party has taken ownership of the execution, giving a sincere and clear portrayal of their vision. In an election campaign what could be more important than getting a refreshingly honest representation of the party you’re voting for?”
Taking ownership of the campaign execution is a strategy that seems to compliment the work ethos of both Running With Scissors and the Green Party.
“We work in a way that best suits the way our clients work. We don’t dictate what they should do," says Mitchell.
And because the Green Party is "a very collective and collaborative organisation in their own right", notes Mitchell, leaving it up to the party to take the campaign where they wish seemed like the natural thing to do.
A collaborative approach is what attracted the Green Party to work Running With Scissors, too, says Green Party campaign manger Megan Salole.
"Their flexibility and responsiveness has been a great asset to the campaign. They have gone the extra mile in developing our campaign message and helping us translate our vision. They have encouraged us to be bold, and we are confident that this work will enable our campaign to cut-through in a crowded election environment, where competing political voices are vying for voters attention.”
And much like the folks at Running With Scissors are cut from the cloth of creativity, the agency tends to think the same of the Green Party.
"It's a case of creative people working with creative people," says Mitchell.
He's not wrong. Salole is a designer by background and has also been heavily involved in social innovation projects. She says the Green Party features a large number of high calibre professionals working in everything from design to the marketing aspects of the campaign.
“It’s something about Green thinking." she says. "The party’s ideas are modern and progressive and that attracts creative types."
The last Green party campaign execution by Special Group ended up winning creative awards and, according to the Special Group website, "helped re-position the Greens away from the fringe and increase their mainstream appeal" and grew the number of Green MPs by 50 percent.
The initial campaign creative was launched this week through Mediacom and other aspects of the campaign will be rolled out over the next two months across social media, flyers, outdoor and TV. Given all Kiwi political parties have a much shorter time frame to work with because of the Rugby World Cup, campaigns will definitely need to pack a punch.
But what would politics be without the opposition parties piping up with criticism of their nemeses? Describing the campaign's message as "Orwellian double-speak", Act leader Don Brash has been quick to communicate is disdain for the campaign, saying it pushes for a poorer New Zealand.
"On the face of it, it's full of feel-good bromides that could be uttered by anyone," says Brash in this Act press release.