In 1996 Act replaced its stark yellow and black party logo with one that utilised ‘the New Age shades of azure and turquoise' (Trotter, 13 Dec 1996: pp.16,17). The use of upper case letters (‘ACT’) in the old logo was also now totally replaced by lower case letters (‘act’). According to Prebble, the logo was ‘changed because the old one looks like a prison sign’ (Scherer, 1996: p.5). The new logo also omitted the strangely pointless full-stop from the middle of Act’s name (“ACT. New Zealand”). [Read more below]
The change in logo indicated that the party wanted to soften its image. The original logo was too bold, too radical, and perhaps too ‘masculine’. The new understated and stylish logo better suited the party’s desired new image.
From this point onwards written reference to ‘ACT NZ’ also utilised lowercase letters. The word ‘ACT’ was no longer an acronym, but a proper word in itself. For some time, there had been no mention of the fact that ACT was an acronym of the ‘Association of Taxpayers and Consumers’, and indeed the party now seemed to distance itself from that part of the organisation’s history.
Combined with the acquisition of a new logo, Act launched a new slogan: ‘Values. Not Politics’. This slogan fitted two of Act’s promotion strategies:  it’s populist anti-politics image; and  its attempt to downplay its own policies and instead emphasis its basic philosophy.
The new strategy was to present the party as representing ‘middle NZ virtues’. Consequently Prebble worked on establishing the phrase of ‘hard work, enterprise, and thrift’ as the party mantra. The key values and virtues of Act therefore turned out to be various variations on right-wing populist themes. So although the party was being ‘relaunched as a softer, more caring model of its former self’ it also continued to portray itself as a representation of fiscal rectitude (Kirk, 30 March 1996: p.23).
The emphasis on values was in part an attempt to shift ‘the party's appeal from the head to the heart' (Heeringa, 1996: p.27). This was indicative, first, of the fact that Act had failed in the logical ‘appeal to the head’, and second, part of a desire to tell voters that it actually had a heart, as Act desperately needed to shake off its image of ‘meanness’.
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