Political Marketing in the US and New Zealand: Donald Trump 2016-2020 and Jacinda Ardern 2017-2020

University of Auckland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Political Marketing in the US and New Zealand: Donald Trump 2016-2020 and Jacinda Ardern 2017-2020

  • Host University

    University of Auckland

  • Location

    Auckland, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    International Politics, International Relations, Political Science, Research

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Project Description

    This project will analyse the effectiveness of political marketing in government by US President Donald Trump 2016-2020 and NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 2017-2020. It will analyse the two cases against two key theories: the Market-Sales-Product Oriented Party Models (Lees-Marshment 2001) and Contemporary Governing Leaders’ Communication Model (Elder 2016). Scholars will need to firstly collect and then analyse primary sources such as Presidential/Prime Ministerial documents, policies, speeches and websites, public opinion data, social media and secondary sources including media reports. They will then analyse the extent to which the political leaders use of political marketing meets the theory. This work will be used in teaching, commentary and potential publications on the NZ 2020 election and US 2020 election.


    NB: would suit multiple students

    The project would be most beneficial for multiple researchers (indeed it is too much work for one researcher to do both cases) as there is substantial material that can be collected and analysed, the theories to be used have multiple areas of focus, and they can then compare and contrast the two cases, and peer learning will maximise motivation and learning. It can accommodate up to 6 researchers E.G.:


    • 2 researchers, one on each leader
    • 3 researchers, one on the product for each leader, the other communications, the delivery
    • 6 researchers: one on Trump’s product, one on Ardern’s product, one on Trump’s communicatioNS, one on Ardern’s communication, one on Trump’s delivery, one Trump’s communication


    Researcher’s Work

    The main goal is to collect and analyse a diverse range of sources on the two cases. This will be broken down into:

    1. Review and comprehend political marketing theory
    2. Identify and collect primary sources related to the leaders political marketing in power such as
      1. primary sources: government and party documents, policies, plans, reports, speeches, tours, events, website, videos, social media
      2. public opinion data
      3. media articles, including quotes from the PM, senior politicians and staff
      4. Party and government communication including interviews and features in magazines and other outlets
    3. Analyse these sources against the theory and write up analysis in note form, if not full paper form.


    Required Skills/Pre-requisites

    • Ability to learn new cross-disciplinary concepts quickly
    • Awareness and understanding of modern electoral politics and communication, if not political marketing in particular
    • Research skills to identify a wide range of sources on the case study
    • High analytical ability to be able to process and synthesise a wide range of material quickly
    • Able to work independently and produce written work on time
    • Strong initiative but also responsive to supervision and advice

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.