Dancing Cossacks political TV ad

The National Party's 1975 'dancing Cossacks' advertisement is probably the most famous – or infamous – piece of election advertising in New Zealand's political history. In the first campaign held after the introduction of colour TV, National's advertising agency, Colenso, engaged the famous American cartoon studio Hanna-Barbera to produce a colourful, animated advert.

National was trying to turn voters against the Labour government by suggesting that the latter's recently introduced compulsory superannuation scheme might lead to Soviet-style Communism (conveniently ignoring the fact that the Cossack peoples had traditionally been opponents of the Bolsheviks). It did the trick too, helping sweep Robert Muldoon's National Party into power in a landslide victory.


Ref: C1555. Video from National Party 1975. Superannuation, 1975 TVC. Courtesy of the National Party. Sourced from the New Zealand Film Archive/Nga Kaitiaki o Nga Taonga Whitiahua.


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How to cite this page: 'Dancing Cossacks political TV ad', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/video/dancing-cossacks, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 10-Jun-2014

Community contributions

poli vo artist
18 Sep 2012

The Cossacks were white Russians and fought the Bolsheviks. Of course the agency wouldn't play The Internationale. Who was the narrator on this campaign?

01 Jun 2009
There is an animated depiction of what the cartoonist thought dancing Cossacks looked like just before Rob Muldoon starts to speak. Jamie
01 Jun 2009
There are no cossacks in this video

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