People outraged over 'sexist' National attack ad have 'fallen into trap'

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Friday, 15 February 2019, 8:56a.m.
The ad, which was released on social media, showed a young man and woman discussing the policy.

A political commentator says people outraged by National's new attack ad have fallen into a trap.

The ad, which was released on social media, showed a young man and woman discussing the policy.

The woman appears excited by KiwiBuild – but the man quickly points out that to achieve the 100,000 target, 33 new homes would need to be built every day.

She asked how many have been built so far, to which the man replies 33. A disclaimer says the 33 houses were built over the Government's first 450 days.

Political commentator Bryce Edwards told Mike Hosking the ad is deliberately designed to polarise.

"Most supporters of National will just see this ad and think 'oh National is criticising KiwiBuild', whereas National's opponents read much more into it, they've seen it and been provoked by it and fallen into the trap."

He said the ad is clumsy and awkward but also very effective.

"It's cringe-worthy and clumsy at first look but it'a actually been designed to provoke, it's been designed quite cleverly by the ad agency."

The ad agency was hoping people would become enraged and give the ad publicity, he said.

"Many others fell into the trap, gave it publicity and called it out and for a lot of New Zealanders they would have seen the ad and thought it just seems like a silly ad and thought the complaints about it...were a bit over the top."

Edwards said the reason the ad is so effective is because Labour can't really defend itself.

"Labour is completely unable to respond to this and the allegations about KiwiBuild. It doesn't look good for Labour."

Yesterday, Housing Minister Phil Twyford – the man in charge of the KiwiBuild policy – said the ad was "clearly sexist."

"I think a lot of people find it offensive."

Some on social media have complained the ad appears as though the man was mansplaining – when a man explains something to a woman in a condescending or patronising way – the KiwiBuild policy to the woman.

READ MORE: Barry Soper: National Party's BBQ attack ad - worst ad ever...or brilliant?

Twyford said if he had commissioned that "attack ad" he would be asking for a refund.
He said the barbecue depicted in the ad did not look like much fun.

"I think there would be much more enjoyable barbecues at Judith [Collins'] place."

"I really doubt that New Zealanders are going to find that it resonates. I can't believe that National's leadership didn't realise how sexist the ad looks."

She said the ad reminded her of the blockbuster movie Anchorman, which she said is a movie all about how sexist things used to be.

"Their ad seems to be a hallmark back to the 1970s."

But National deputy leader Paula Bennett said the ad uses a bit of humour to get the point across that this Government is failing in its KiwiBuild policy.

"I think everyone needs to lighten up and see it as a bit of humour and move on."

She said the ad did not intend any harm and she didn't think any had been done.

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