Big two take different approaches in TV ad war

David Cunliffe is in Labour's ad, while National goes boating.
David Cunliffe is in Labour's ad, while National goes boating.
Labour has gone for the heartstrings in TV ads to be aired today while National has taken a more light-hearted approach as the on-screen political campaign begins.

Under electoral rules, parties can begin using their allocated broadcasting airtime this morning.

In its first television ad, the National Party aims to help voters make a "simple choice" between its own management of the economy or a Labour-Greens-Internet-Mana leadership.

National portrays itself as a young, hard-working, sleek rowing team "staying on course".

It is competing against a hapless, bumbling rowing boat with two red and green cockswains, and one of its rowers in Internet-Mana purple.

In a voiceover, the ad says voters should "keep the team that's working".

The ad is unusual because of the absence of Prime Minister John Key, who is usually front-and-centre in National promotions.

Campaign manager Steven Joyce said Mr Key would be in future ads.

Labour leader David Cunliffe features in all of his party's four ads, designed by Auckland agency Running With Scissors.

The ads extend the "Vote Positive" theme seen on its billboards, and politicians are mostly sidelined in favour of voters' faces.

Campaign manager David Talbot said the material was more emotional than past campaigns, without being cheesy.

Labour has also made a Maori-focused ad which will run in Maori and English on Maori Television.

National is entitled to $1.05 million worth of radio and TV advertising time this year, and Labour to $920,000.

The values are set by the Electoral Commission with a formula based on parties' votes at the previous election and other factors.

- by Isaac Davison, NZ Herald

Not again?

So have Muldoon's dancing cossacks learnt to row? Booooooring! 

Love the advert

Shows the opposition just how I see them - all rowing in different directions to suit their own agenda. Simple fact of the matter is that MMP needs to go.

Too negative

@Treeleaper: I am disappointed in National mentioning the opposition in the ads. It's too negative in my opinion. They have a strong track record which they can use to advertise without need to make fun of the opposition. [Abridged]

National a sleek young rowing team?

I'm having trouble identifying Brownlee, Joyce and Collins in the "sleek young rowing team." When all is said and done, that little coterie appear to be calling many of the shots in this government.