YouTube clip of the Legend advert that has attracted over 1.5 million views.


'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.

A one-liner from an anti drink-drive television advert has been voted quote of the year in a Massey University competition to find the top ten New Zealand memorable 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.

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.

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