Furniture maker creates faux political party as marketing ploy during Australian elections
[Melbourne] Nicholas Dattner, an Australian marketer of upscale dining room tables, created a faux political party called "The Dinner Party" in hilarious topical marketing timed to Australia's national elections Oct. 9.
On Election Day, actors dressed in dinner suits appeared at key polling stations to hand out tens of thousands of "how-to-vote" leaflets supporting "Vote 1-The Dinner Party." The furniture maker also sponsored a mobile dinner party of colorful characters who visited different polling stations seated at a dinner table mounted on a truck. Voting is compulsory in Australia, so a big audience was guaranteed.
The campaign, created by Melbourne-based DNA, independent M&C Saatchi's second agency in Australia, also included "The Dinner Party" newspaper ads strategically placed in the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald right beside the electoral office's official "how to vote" ad.
Mr. Dattner, himself a well-known Australian personality, appeared in radio campaign spots, promising that The Dinner Party "supports traditional values-wine, food and song." He signed off with a cheery "Vote often!"
A Web site (thedinnerparty.com.au) has sections covering the economy (buy a Nicholas Dattner table in October and get free tableware) and social issues (win a drawing for a catered dinner party) and a button to hear Mr. Dattner's policy speeches.
Dattner took brilliant advantage of an Aussie ban on genuine political parties running ads in broadcast media during the two days before an election. As a faux party, The Dinner Party concentrated its campaign during those two days and outlined its "[We'll] buy your vote" policy, a sardonic reference to dubious election promises.