What motivates an ad wanker to become political?

  • Voices
  • September 1, 2017
  • Clint Ulyatt
What motivates an ad wanker to become political?

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in Adland for nearly twenty years, in a number of production and suiting guises, currently as a recruiter for 3rdeye Recruitment. Last week, as a late entry and with just over a month to go I’ve put my hand up as a list candidate and as TOP's man in the Mount Roskill electorate in the general election.

I was involved with TOP contesting the Mt Albert by election earlier this year. When I first met Gareth Morgan and Deputy Leader Geoff Simmons I knew I'd run into a couple of guys committed to positive change and not concerned with personality politics. It’s about good ideas, backed by evidence based policy, not good looks and baby hugging.

But this isn't really about the appeal of Gareth or anyone else for that matter. 

There are a lot of career politicians that embed themselves in the system that are about self-preservation and towing the party line. They won’t take risks on adventurous policy if there is any chance it will cost them votes from loyalists. That’s not the case with TOP. As our stream of Facebook ads will tell you, we're all about policy. 

There are a lot of non-political types getting involved because what the party stands for resonates with them. There is succession planning in place which explains why I’m number 15 on the party list. I’d be stoked if we cracked over 10 percent but the reality is I’m here and making a statement for the party as we move toward 2020’s election. 

Here are a few of the other reasons why I've taken the leap into politics.  

An eruption of inequality 

The data on inequality sealed the deal for me – rising house prices, incomes that have not kept pace and industries that have not been held to account for their impact on the environment are just the starting point.

Politics aren't entirely new to me. I was on the fringes working with the team that put together the successful 2008 campaign that brought the National Government to power.

National was right for the time with the Global Financial Crisis kicking-off. The Nats offered prudent economic management. Conversely, during their time in power, we’ve seen things go south for many Kiwis, who are struggling to make ends meet. It’s become a story of the haves and have-nots.

As someone who's worked in advertising, the line between haves and have-nots has always bugged me. We live in a little bubble, completely separated from the struggles of ordinary New Zealanders. In fact, we often look down and scoff at what they do. In making this move by running for office, I'm really trying to leave this bubble and see things from a different perspective. 

Orange Guy and voter inertia

Orange Guy is really emblematic of the broader issues behind voter inertia.

As John Anthony Auckland, community papers editor recently stated “New Zealand election advertising is in desperate need of a rebrand… the Electoral Commission’s Orange Guy is the core branding for the Government’s voting campaigns. But it’s dated, considering voter turnout at elections is dismally low, a rebrand is well overdue. Students find Orange Guy unrelatable and annoying, and women voters, in particular, find him uninspiring. With so much at stake, we need the best minds in the advertising business working on what is effectively the most important marketing campaign in the country.”

Orange Guy was conceived under the helm of the late Gordon Clarke while he was a creative director at Y&R at least a decade ago. A decade is a long time in the digital age, and it's no surprise that Orange Guy's relevance has been left behind as the world has moved on.

I want to play an active role (however small it might be) in getting people interested enough to at least think about voting. What we have at the moment is a lot of white (or orange) noise that gives voters, younger ones in particular, little impetus to head the electorate office to cast a ballot. This is, of course, if they know which electorate they belong to in the first place. Further to this point, there's really a case to be made for rethinking the electorates so they reflect their constituents. Take the suburbs of Mount Roskill and Mount Albert which suddenly become electorates during the election. It's confusing as hell. I have a mate who lives in Westmere, and when I told him that he was in the Mount Albert electorate he retorted 'Fuck off'. I showed him the map and he was gob-smacked.

The long-winded point here is again linked to Orange Guy: people are just not being engaged and informed in the ways they should be. We need to get better at using the digital tools at our disposal or we will risk seeing voter inertia only exacerbate over time.        

I hope that along with the team at TOP we can help to push things in a slightly different, more engaged direction.

And while I'm diving into the political viper pit, this doesn't mean I'll stop being an ad wanker. I'll still be hanging around at 3rdeye Consulting recruiting for creative roles.

But since we're on the political bandwagon, here's a classic politics-themed ad from Whittaker's in its Saatchi days.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

The Stoppies 2018: The Great StopPress Year in the Rear — VOTE NOW
features

The Stoppies 2018: The Great StopPress Year in the Rear — VOTE NOW The Stoppies 2018: The Great StopPress Year in the Rear — VOTE NOW

In what has become a StopPress tradition, we again present our rundown of the big pitches, the big ideas, the big balls, the big stoushes, the big moves and the big whoopsies. Vote for your favourites ahead of the Stoppies Event on 14 February.

Kia Motors NZ appoints new marketing GM

  • Advertising
  • January 23, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Kia Motors NZ appoints new marketing GM

Kia Motors New Zealand has appointed former Jeep executive Greg MacDonald to the newly created role of marketing general manager.

Read more

Save the date: Stoppies is returning for another year

  • The Stoppies
  • January 22, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Save the date: Stoppies is returning for another year

On 14 February 2019, the StopPress team will be showering the industry in love as we take a look back at the best of 2018 at The Stoppies brought to you by oOh!.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and StopPress have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

topics
Follow The Money
Follow The Money
Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a ...
Regional Rundown
Regional Rundown
StopPress takes a trip down the country to see who the audiences and agencies are ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...

Chorus appoints FCB as media partner

  • Advertising
  • January 22, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Chorus appoints FCB as media partner

FCB has been appointed as Chorus’ media partner.

Read more

Ads of the week: 22 January

  • TVC of the week
  • January 22, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Ads of the week: 22 January

A round of applause for Les Mills, NZTA and Whittaker's.

Read more
voices

Hell launches ‘unruly tourist’ pizza

  • Advertising
  • January 21, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Hell launches ‘unruly tourist’ pizza

As the unruly tourists saga continues, Hell Pizza decided to join the conversation with a billboard 'launching' a limited edition pizza.

Read more

Steve Tindall: Is the Mediaworks/QMS merger a good thing?

  • Voices
  • January 21, 2019
  • Steve Tindall
Steve Tindall: Is the Mediaworks/QMS merger a good thing?

In November 2018 MediaWorks and QMS Media Limited (NZ) entered into a heads of agreement for a proposed merger of QMS’s out-of-home, production and digital media assets and MediaWorks' radio, TV and digital business. GroupM chief investment officer Steve Tindall weighs in on who a merger such as this works for.

Read more
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2018 best financial and banking: FMG
news

TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2018 best financial and banking: FMG

FMG has been around for a long time, offering advice-driven insurance to the rural community. But, when competition from brokers was affecting business, it knew it needed to remind New Zealand's rural communities of its unique service. We take a look at 2018's best financial and banking.

Denstu Aegis Network appoints Henry Tajer as CEO

  • Advertising
  • January 21, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Denstu Aegis Network appoints Henry Tajer as CEO

Dentsu Aegis Network has appointed Henry Tajer to the role of chief executive officer Australia and New Zealand.

Read more

Is consolidation the way of the future?

  • Advertising
  • January 18, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Is consolidation the way of the future?

The tail end of 2018 brought with it some major announcements between media companies and the booming out-of-home market. Nearly two months since NZME and Go Media enacted their partnership and MediaWorks and QMS Media announced their proposed merger, we have a chat with media agencies to see whether the latest developments are a sign of things to come.

Read more

StopPress noticeboard: 18 January

  • Noticeboard
  • January 18, 2019
  • StopPress Team
StopPress noticeboard: 18 January

Deals, expansions and acquisitions across the Industry.

Read more

NZTA goes undercover to spread safety message

  • Advertising
  • January 18, 2019
  • StopPress Team
NZTA goes undercover to spread safety message

New Zealand Transport Agency’s latest campaign aims to reduce young driver fatalities by getting them into safer cars.

Read more

Year in Review: Amber Coulter

  • Year in Review
  • January 18, 2019
  • Amber Coulter
Year in Review: Amber Coulter

Every year, StopPress asks players in the local industry for their reflections on the marketing year that was. Here's what Amber Coulter, partner at TRA, has to say.

Read more

Getting in on the action: Eli Smit on his Ground Breaking Podcast

  • Media
  • January 17, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Getting in on the action: Eli Smit on his Ground Breaking Podcast

It’s not often you stumble across a nine-year-old hosting a business podcast, but then again, most nine-year-olds aren’t like self-proclaimed budding entrepreneur Eliah (Eli) Smit.

Read more

Ikon appointed communication agency for Zuru and Rascal + Friends

  • Advertising
  • January 17, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Ikon appointed communication agency for Zuru and Rascal + Friends

Ikon has kicked off the year with two new clients, Zuru and Rascal + Friends.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit