Here's the thing. You might not rate Ardern. You might think that she is naïve and unprepared for the task of running a country. You can blame that on a lack of experience or a lack of diligence or any number of things. But you cannot blame that on the fact that she is a woman.

And, unfortunately for National, it looks like that is exactly what they're blaming it on.

Will this backfire on National?

Probably not. Just like the Kiwi-Iwi ads, it's blown up and drawn even more attention to the point they're trying to make. Which is that KiwiBuild is a flop. Now more people have watched that ad and heard that message.

And true-blue voters may not find this ad offensive and will instead by annoyed by the uproar it's causing.

So, in the end, it's a clever ad.

But it's disappointing.

Heather du Plessis-Allan hosts Wellington Mornings on Newstalk ZB weekdays from 9am and is a Herald on Sunday columnist