The following appeared this morning, minus the bit after the defaced blue billboard, which I’ve just added.
No dangling babies on red ribbons this time for Labour. But their first big billboards have no Helen, no logo, and no party vote message either.
Why this reluctance by both main parties to keep their leader’s mugs off the big sites?
Like National, Labour seem to be running two parallel campaigns. So much so that you wonder if they’re being done by two separate agencies.
The billboards (including the candidate ones) make full use of Labour’s glorious red and the powerfully emotive ‘Keep it Kiwi’ line.
Then you have the press ads, which feature a polished white-clad Helen on a white background with the Labour logo that’s missing from the billboard, and the slogan ‘This one’s about trust.’
In the ‘trust’ TV ad, Helen is so haughtily hypocritical she deserves a point-by-point response:
“National wanted us to go to war in Iraq. I said no – that’s not where New Zealanders’ values are at.”
(They’re in Afghanistan, so I sent us to war there.)
“This election’s about trust.”
(Or should that be ‘trusts’?)
“It’s about who’s being straight up”
(like Key and Rodney)
“and who isn’t”
(like me and Winston).
(forging paintings, stealing public money for pledge cards, shutting down free speech, lying about donations, ten years of deficits)
“versus their words.”
But the production values are good, and the message is upliftingly nationalistic – though the PM looks like she’s got a bad case of myxomatosis with the light forcing her eyes into a puffy squint.
Labour’s candidate billboards are very simple and strong.
But all parties’ billboards are so devoid of entertainment that we’re reliant on the vandalised versions for our jollies.
One can titter sympathetically at Sue Moroney’s misfortune,
and perhaps less so at this Nelsonian’s attempt to turn National into the National Front.
I shouldn’t give advice to vandals, but this billboard is not just in appallingly bad taste.
It’s also overdesigned – like the National originals.
The perpetrators seem to have missed the obvious opportunity to blank out the B in Brighter. That would have been a bit clever.
And if their goal was to echo the Nazis’ unquestioned flair for poisonously potent propaganda, they blew it by adding Party HARD.
It’s probably just as well I can’t quite make out the photograph.