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Hero image for Dancing Cossacks - 1975 National Party

Dancing Cossacks - 1975 National Party

Commercial (Full Length) – 1975

As a 10 year-old kid I loved this advert ... and would've voted National if I could've. After all, anyone who makes animated cartoons can't be bad ... right? Years later, I was shocked to find out exactly what it was, and what it said.
– A YouTube comment on the ad
[The Dancing Cossacks] was attributed subsequently by some people, including the Labour Party, as being responsible for the biggest landslide ever. Clearly that was ridiculous. But somewhere the image touched a nerve never-the-less, because subsequently, so much of what happened in that 1975 election was explained by commentators in terms of those five seconds.
– Colenso executive Michael Wall
[National] argued the new scheme was socialist. It said the state, through the Superannuation Corporation, would eventually control most of the country's major assets even though contributors had their own individual accounts ... The famous dancing Cossacks TV ad, aiming to give the impression that the scheme was turning New Zealand into a state-controlled economy similar to the Soviet Republic, was highly successful.
– Brian Gaynor on the end of Labour's superannuation scheme, 21 September 2007 NZ Herald
...like nothing New Zealand had ever seen before. While undeniably clever, they were also fear-mongering, red-baiting and black propaganda — they should have been slapped with injunctions the first time they slithered out from under a rock.
– Tom Scott on the National Party's 1975 advertising campaign, in his 2017 autobiography Drawn Out