Liberals double ad spend as polling day nears

By Rosie Baker | 2 September 2013

Both the Liberals and the Australian Labor Party ramped up their ad spend last week with Rudd and Abbott getting nasty as the polls near.

The liberal party doubled its ad spend last week, spending $1.6m on advertising over the seven days to 28 August – more than it spent in the previous three weeks of the campaign combined, according to figures released by Ebiquity. The party has spent a total of $3.1m on ads during the campaign season.

The majority of this uplift went on TV ads with $400,000 being spent on the Captain Chaos campaign.

The Australian Labor Party also upped its spend by nearly $1m in ad spend during the week, focus on its “If he wins, Australians lose” anti-Abbott ads. More than $300,000 were spent on the Abbott's Priorities are Wrong campaign. The party's total ad spend to date reached $2.7m.

Clive Palmer's United Palmer Party was the third highest spender in the last week. According to the figures the UPP splurged $1.17m last week, the lion's share of almost all of the controversial candidate's $1.26m ad spend to date.

Political parties are nearing the advertising blackout which comes into affect on Thursday ahead of polls opening on Saturday.

Each party has ratcheted up negative campaigns rubbishing the opposition, rather than focus more on policies in the final week of campaigning.

Aaron Rigby, insight director at Ebiquity says more can be expected ahead of Thursday. “[With early voting already underway] we can expect a barrage of both positive and negative advertising from both parties in the coming days as they beg, fight and steal for every last vote.”

Advertising activity as been focused in Sydney (36%) and Melbourne (18%) followed by Melbourne (17%) and Perth (17%) and Adelaide (14%).

Researchers are predicting a high number of informal votes at this weekend's election, with the number of Australians planning to vote informally expected to reach 6.4%, according to BrandHook.

Paul Dixon, partner at BrandHook says the political turmoil of the past few years has helped create “brand ambivalence” towards the major parties.

He said: “We have done a lot of work into understanding people’s habits and how habit drives almost half of people’s daily routines. Voting is no exception – it’s a habitual behaviour. The current political landscape has led to people breaking their voting habits. When brands and marketers ignore rituals, they often miss the boat in terms of influencing behaviour. We also know that brands who have more habitual customers perform better.”

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