Friday, April 08, 2011

Jack Layton's NDP Ad on Corporate Giveaways

This NDP ad, "Not So Great Moments in Canada: Corporate Giveaways," undermines the Conservative economic dogma that corporate tax cuts are needed for recovery, growth, and jobs. I'm still researching the agency behind the "Not So Great Moments in Canadian History" series, but I think the animation à la Angela Anaconda is a fresh approach.

The ad has Harper high-fiving Rob Ford-esque businessmen who he's giving tax breaks to, but, alas, it doesn't matter. Electrolux is creating jobs, 1,300 in Memphis, Tennessee. The ad also has Harper and Ignatieff high-fiving each other, putting the Liberals in the same boat as Harper.

Well, a little behind what's going on at Electrolux. They're battling it out with Whirlpool, going after markets in emerging economies {read: not North America or Europe} and looking to shutter plants in high cost locales like Canada. Wait, how did Memphis get Electrolux to locate a kitchen appliances plant there? By the Tennessee government giving over $100M in grants to Electrolux to build the plant and train workers. Well, let's hope for Tennessee that another jurisdiction with deep pockets doesn't offer up a sweeter deal down the road, since, after all, "Plan B" was allegedly México. Perhaps Harper needed to loosen those pursestrings even more and pony up, as he did in 2009 with $9.1B with GM Canada, which is over $1M per capita of GM Canada employees. On a per job or total cash outlay basis, Electrolux would have been a steal. $100M for 1,240+ employees would be a mere $80,000 per capita of Electrolux employees.

As an aside, I question the use of public money to entice companies to locate or stay in a particular locale. Public money, in my book, should be spent on the economic and social infrastructure that make a locale a desirable place to live, work, and do business.

I think the execution is solid with its communication objectives. It goes after the Conservatives on the issue of the economy, implying it has a two-tiers—corporations and the top 2% versus the rest of us. It also paints Ignatieff as complicit, which I understand from a marketing point of view—the NDP wants to differentiate themselves from the Liberals.  I'm not sure as having Ignatieff as complicit with Harper was the best way to go. The NDP and the Liberals share ideological space, so perhaps a different way of differentiation would be best. The Ignatieff-Harper high five wasn't elaborated on and can be perceived as a cheap shot. It needed to be explained. Perhaps a better ad would have kept the two, Harper and Ignatieff, separate, but both on the wrong side of the issue.

Twitterversion:: [blog+video] #NDP's ad "Not So Great Moments in Canada: Corporate Giveaways"...positioning the party to differentiate. @Prof_K

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