Selling the NBN dream

A little over a week ago Fairfax and News Ltd each ran a story about a collection of prominent Australians who would sell the benefits of the National Broadband Network to the Australian population.

It seems the story was a little premature. The list included retired High Court Judge Michael Kirkby, conservationist Tim Flannery and CSIRO development head James Bradfield Moody. Most said they hadn’t been approached by the government and none wanted to come on Twisted Wire to talk up benefits that the NBN would provide.

So if the government’s supposed NBN champions aren’t prepared to talk, who can sell the dream? I went to a couple of advertising creatives to see what approach they would take to try and promote the NBN. First I went to Jane Caro, freelance writer and panellist on the Gruen Transfer. She loves the idea of the broadband network, but believes it’s a tough sell given our cynicism towards politicians. Bruce Potter, creative director at Streetwise Advertising, reckons it would be easier to find peace in the Middle East than convince everyone the NBN is a good idea.

For what it’s worth, I reckon the government can unite most people — and possibly win the next election over it — but they need to listen to the detractors and come up with a compromise approach that will keep everyone satisfied.

First published on ZDNet

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