12:40pm Thursday 28 May 2020

'Legend' anti drink-drive line is quote of the year


Communication lecturer Dr Heather Kavan, who organised
the New Zealand Top Ten Quotes of 2011.

“I’ve been internalising a really complicated situation in my head” from the New Zealand Transport Authority’s ‘Legend’ campaign was voted top in the University’s contest.

Another quote from the same advert – “You know I can’t grab your ghost chips!” – was the second most popular. The top two combined received 40 per cent of the voting, which was carried out through the University’s Facebook site.

In election year, it was no surprise that comments from MPs took third and fourth place, with Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker’s poignant post-earthquake speech to the Christchurch City Council in fifth place.

The competition was organised by communication lecturer Dr Heather Kavan, of the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, who invited students to submit entries. The best ten – from a variety of sources including movies, comedy and news reports – were selected by academics and put forward for judging.

Dr Kavan was inspired to launch a list after becoming a fan of the list put out by Yale University in the United States and intends to produce an annual student-led list of top ten quotes.

She says as a lecturer in speechwriting she is fascinated by the power of language and always looking for great one-liners.

“A good one-liner is brief, witty and original,” she says. “We recognise a great one because we want to say it ourselves.  Delivery is also important, and I think the ‘internalising a really complicated situation in my head’ quote came in at the top because of the amusing phrasing and the actor’s delivery.” 
The official advertisement, featuring actor Darcey-Ray Flavell, from the hit movie Boy, has had over 1.5 million hits on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIYvD9DI1ZA&feature=related

Dr Kavan, who won a prestigious Cicero Speech Writing Award, last year, says in mass communication it is always important to choose words that soften potential resistance to the message. “This is especially important in an anti-drink driving campaign where there is so much at stake,” she says.

Dr Kavan’s speech writing paper has received outstanding student reviews. In 2008 Dr Kavan won the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and, in 2009, a National Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award for Sustained Excellence.

The winning quote was submitted by Graduate Diploma in Business Studies student Jacob Ulmer.

The top ten quotes from Massey University for 2011 are:

  1. “I’ve been internalising a really complicated situation in my head.” Actor Darcey-Ray Flavell in the NZTA drink-driving ad where a young man is pondering all the arguments for and against telling his friend not to drive.
  2. “You know I can’t grab your ghost chips!” Actor Darcey-Ray Flavell in the NZTA drink-driving ad where a young man imagines his friend dying in a car crash and returning as a ghost who offers him chips.
  3. “Government is not there to make your life a better place necessarily.” National MP David Bennett.
  4. “To have a cell phone, a dog and a ute”.  Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson, on all a person needs to claim to be a builder.
  5. “The real story of what has happened in Christchurch is the heroic story at the grass roots level, which is neighbour working with neighbour.”  Mayor Bob Parker’s speech to the Christchurch City Council.
  6. “The Government has banned Fijian rugby players with military connections, criminal convictions, or who are competitive at the breakdown.” Jeremy Corbett on 7Days.
  7. “If we continue the bankrupt response of just paying young Polynesian, young Maori men in South Auckland, the dole to sit in front of TV, smoke marijuana, watch pornography and plan more drug offending, more burglaries, then we are going to have them coming through our window regardless if we live in Epsom or anywhere else in the greater Auckland.”  John Banks interviewed by Sean Plunket on The Nation.
  8. “Naturally I finished my set.” sales representative Cameron Leslie who was at a gym in Oslo, Norway, when a fatal bomb went off 50 metres away recalls the incident to John Campbell on Campbell Live.
  9. “It’s my heart Craig, not my gonads.”  Rhys Darby’s character ‘Doug’ in the film Lovebirds.
  10. “These guys have gone from the Stone Age to the space age in 150 years, and haven’t said thanks.” ACT party marketing director John Ansell speaking about Maori. He later resigned from his position.

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