After a fractious year for the Turnbull government, replete with citizenship chaos and the seismic squabble over same-sex marriage, the Liberals' leading lights want 2018 to be all about unity.
They want to unify rowdy Coalition MPs, unify the country's focus on the economy, and unify the government's message behind a brand new slogan: "Let's Keep Australia Working."
Announced earlier this week, it pivots away from the "jobs and growth" mantra that saw Malcolm Turnbull limp over the line at last year's election.
Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash, who will be at the centre of this renewed focus on employment, said the slogan encapsulated "what the government is all about".
Campaign stalwarts who spoke to Fairfax Media on Thursday said the slogan aimed to capitalise upon whatever momentum the government may have gained through recent byelection wins and the cabinet reshuffle.
They said it was a clear throwback to Margaret Thatcher's winning 1979 campaign, "Labour Isn't Working". And although Mr Turnbull's slogan sounds positive, they said it fits what the advertising industry calls a pos-neg.
"Things that might ostensibly look like a positive slogan have an underlying threat to it," explained Dee Madigan, who has worked on numerous Labor campaigns. In this case the threat is: "If things change, you might not be working."
Toby Ralph, who worked on John Howard's winning campaigns, said the slogan was "a negative couched as a positive". While most swing voters don't believe political parties create jobs, "they will readily accept that the other side might destroy them", he said. "That's the message here."
Mr Ralph rated the new slogan 7 out of 10, "largely because it doesn't contain 'innovation', and further that it's a four-word slogan - an edifying improvement on the tsunami of three-word reductions that has washed over us these last several years".
All modern political catchphrases are intensely worked through focus groups, and are often derived from what focus group members mention. While Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin were mocked for three-word slogans, the Turnbull government didn't fair much better, briefly deploying the phrase "continuity and change" (seemingly swiped from the political satire Veep) before landing on the pedestrian "jobs and growth" mantra.
The Coalition copped internal criticism for avoiding attack ads and negative campaigning in 2016. "They really let Labor off the hook in a big way, and they let [Bill] Shorten off the hook," said Greg Daniel, who worked on Liberal and National party campaigns for Malcolm Fraser, Tim Fischer and others.
He said Let's Keep Australia Working was a "vast improvement" on its predecessor - and could be used with a positive spin or alongside an attack ad - but its success would depend on how it manifests in advertising.
"The slogan in itself will not cut through. It's how it's delivered that's critical," Mr Daniel said. But Senator Cash was "a very good retail politician" and "the right kind of person" for the job. "She's not a backroom boffin. She can get out there and take it to the Labor Party and hold an argument."
However Adam Ferrier, a consumer psychologist at Thinkerbell, was less convinced of the mantra's utility.
"It feels like it's a slogan more for the Liberal Party more than for Australia," he said. "It's a broad enough thought that it should hold together most of their key messages [but] it's not particularly revolutionary or even that interesting. I think it'll be pretty easily forgotten by the general public."
Federal Liberal Party director Andrew Hirst did not return calls.
MOST MEMORABLE SLOGANS
Labor: "It's Time" [Gough Whitlam]
Liberal: "Not Yet" [Billy McMahon]
Labor's comeback song, performed by pop stars of the era, is arguably the most memorable political campaign in Australian history.
Liberal: "We're not waiting for the world" [Malcolm Fraser]
The ad had to be taken off air after cricket captain Greg Chappell objected to footage of him being used in Malcolm Fraser's campaign.
Liberal: "The answer is Liberal" [Andrew Peacock]
A slogan that lost its sting once Prime Minister Bob Hawke quipped: "If the answer is Liberal, it must have been a bloody stupid question."
Labor: "Australia deserves better" [Paul Keating]
An odd slogan given Labor had been in government 10 years, but Paul Keating ended up winning what was seen as an unwinnable election.
Labor: "Ease the squeeze" [Mark Latham]
An unofficial mantra, it was successfully countered by John Howard's claim that "Latham will squeeze the fees".
Labor: Kevin07 [Kevin Rudd]
Although Labor's official slogan was "New Leadership", it was the personality cult around Kevin07 that became a juggernaut.
Liberal: "Stop the boats" [Tony Abbott]
One of many mantras in the 2010 campaign, it became a lasting slogan for Tony Abbott.