How to sell the federal budget

By Ruby Derrick | 15 May 2023
Adrian Elton. Credit: Lynton Crabb

Labor’s first federal budget produced a rabbit out of a hat, a sudden surplus as the governmnet collected more tax because of unemployment and world demand pushed commodity prices higher.

The budget balanced investments in health, cost-of-living relief, and aged care with the need to stimulate productivity while trying to not add to inflationary pressures.

But there was little for middle Australia.

How would you sell the budget in a commercial?  

Adrian Elton, independent creative 

I'd have a TVC as the centrepiece of the campaign that would feature a sequence of extreme closeups of men and women in corporate attire, picking up brightly coloured toys that have been strewn around a space that is at this point visually indistinct.  

“The camera then pulls back to show that they are Labor MPs who are walking through the chamber which looks like a chaotic kid's party has just taken place.  

“The gruff VO intones, "After nine years of economic mismanagement and fiscal irresponsibility, the adults are back in the room with a budget that tackles the cost of living crisis head on. And even though the books were Fry'd, we've turned the ship around.

"In fact you could say, the first time is a Chalm. Because Albo and Jim Chalmers have put on their big-boy pants and they're doing exactly what they said they'd do. With a budget that works hard for everyday Australians, everywhere." 

Brendan Donnelly, creative director at M&C Saatchi Sydney 

"I'd dress-up children as different adults, based on roles or professions, use lollies to represent the budget, some kids get more, some will get less.

"Some kids will be a bit disgruntled by the end, and not understand why they got less than others, but in the end you have lots of kids with lollies and they'll all be happy.

"This is more of an educational ad - explaining the foundations of the budget."  

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