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Let's do what? Branding expert asks Labour

Newshub logoNewshub 18/08/2017 Newshub staff

A branding expert says Labour's new billboards are fresh and modern, but the party needs to be clearer about what it stands for if it wants to attract new voters.

Labour rolled out the first of its new billboards earlier on Friday, that feature Jacinda Ardern's smiling face on a white background with the slogan: "Let's do this". The reverse features her with a catchphrase, such as "Better healthcare".

The previous billboards, featuring her with former Labour leader Andrew Little, had to be scrapped when he stepped down.

Dow Design group account director Simon Wedde said the use of white instead of red for the backdrop of the billboards has created a fresher, cleaner and more modern brand for the party.

"It's youthful, a great way to rally the Labour party, but the key question is: Let's do what?" Mr Wedde asked.

He suggested that the party should use real people and specific policies on their billboards.

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"I would be using real people and their stories. I'd use facts, like a policeman and nurse living in South Auckland who can't afford a house. That's going to build a much stronger emotional connection and bring their policies to life."

Mr Wedde said Labour's 'Let's do this' is certainly an improvement on the previous 'A fresh approach' - but the slogan didn't convey the party's policies.

"It's definitely pretty than fresh approach, which is a bit boring and bland," he said.

Mr Wedde said the slogan reflects Ms Adern's positivity and personal style of politics, but the public might wonder what exactly Labour stands for and what the slogan means to them as voters.

"Let's do what? What's in it for me? I think that's a question that Jacinda Ardern's going to have to answer over the next few weeks.

He said the slogan has more energy and personality than National's. "Delivering for New Zealanders is really uninspiring, it's steady as she goes, it'll be status quo."

Ms Ardern helped staple the billboards to wooden posts before they were erected instead of using a hammer - avoiding former National Party leader John Key's embarrassing attempt to bang a nail.

She also helped put up a National sign that'd fallen down - or been taken down.

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Ms Ardern thanked the volunteers who helped get the replacement billboards up so quickly.

"I have to acknowledge the hard work that went into this," she said.

"I was told when we were redesigning the billboards it would take a couple of weeks."

However, she brushed off questions about how much it would cost.

"It's not a question I've asked," she laughed.

The Labour hoardings joined a long list of other billboards, including the Green Party's - which still hasn't replaced its billboards after Metiria Turei quit as co-leader.

The previous ones had to be scrapped when Andrew Little stepped down. © Newshub The previous ones had to be scrapped when Andrew Little stepped down.

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