2022 Election Ads: A Pandemic of Cringe

Dimitri N (Year 10)

As it is only a few years until I will need to vote, I figured that I should start taking a closer look into the election process this year. I assumed that an easy and good way to do this would be by watching the different political party’s advertisements, to get a glimpse of what it was about – what I found was hilarious. 

First let me preface – political ads are NOT meant to be funny. They are meant to inform us, as the Australian Population, about the Political Party’s plans and procedures that they will implement in the future if they are voted in. This is the way that political ads are meant to persuade us to vote. This election, instead of using the typical style of ads, most political parties resorted to what I would call, borderline “slander”. Instead of promotional ads, most of the advertisements you would see made fun of the opposition. I was dumbfounded.  

Almost every time I opened YouTube, turned on the TV or looked to social media, I was confronted with election ads that seemed preposterous. The Liberals, the party once in power, were probably the worst contributor to this epidemic of pathetic political ads. The Liberals insulted both Labor and their representative, Anthony Albanese, in ads, the most notable one being the “it won’t be easy with Albanese” slogan and the annoyingly catchy parody of “there’s a hole in your bucket”. These ads, and many others, gave the Australian public NO reason to vote for the Liberals – only a reason not to vote Labor.  

Another political party that tried the idea of insulting the opposition is the ‘much-loved’ UAP, headed by Clive Palmer. With a nearly 3.5-million-dollar ad budget, a lot was expected from the UAP – and a lot is what we got. Every media platform was flooded with Clive Palmer’s face, insulting opposing parties. The UAP’s main point in their advertising (as far as I could tell) was that the Labor and Liberal parties were planning on allowing the Chinese government to take control of Australia and that more lockdowns were coming. These ads went beyond insulting the parties! For some reason, the UAP thought it would be a good idea to ‘scare’ the population into voting for them. It was also an interesting choice from the UAP to have hour-long ads, with climactic endings on Nuclear Submarines… Unsurprisingly, this strategy did not work at capturing Australians’ eyes – neither did the Liberals’ strategy, seeing that this election ended with a victory for Labor. 

Yet, Labor itself is not free from shame when it comes to these ridiculous ads – they themselves created a set of ads making fun of Scott Morrison saying, “that’s not my job”. These were just as bad as some of the other ads, as they still do not tell the population what an ad should. The only party that did not have a repetitive and insulting ad was the Greens – a party that seemed to take the opposite approach, providing an ad filled with information… although it definitely was less entertaining… 

So, with Labor running victory laps, ‘Scomo’ running with his tail between his legs, and the Australian population apprehensive about how this change in leadership will affect our country, what can we take away from these ads? Well, I think that both us and the political parties should learn that, no matter how funny or scary an ad may be, it’s not entertainment that wins you an election. So, in future elections, I hope and expect to see election campaigns focused on showing the population how the party will improve Australia, rather than ones focused on making fun of other parties and striking fear in the population. 

Hey – at least we were given the “there’s a hole in your budget” trap remix to listen to until next election!