The chances are that you are already sick of the election as it doesn’t seem to be off our screens, newspapers or computers for longer than five minutes at the moment.
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a party political broadcast for any particular party but more of an acknowledgement of the use of video production in this general election. This time around, more than ever before, online marketing video content is playing a huge part in the political parties’ communications strategies. There are so many advantages to using promotional videos to convey key messages and it seems that some of the parties are pretty switched on to it. As the politicians attempt to attract the youth vote, it’s a great medium to connect with this audience but also its very good for spin doctors to control the messages they put out there. Instead of politicians being at the mercy of news editors for the content that is shown in the news, creating their own promotional video means that they can show exactly what they want to, directly to their audiences.
Its also interesting to see how the parties use video; all of them have their own You Tube channels but create and use video quite differently with varying degrees of success.
The Conservatives seem to be using their You Tube channel to talk directly to the viewer. David Cameron appears in many of the videos talking and engaging with the audience whether its talking about specific policies or giving a message for occasions such as the recent St. George’s Day celebrations.
Labour’s approach is to appeal directly to the voters by addressing the key issues that are defining the election. There is less of an emphasis on Ed Milliband and a greater focus on the people, the perceived concerns and making an example of the Conservative’s failed policies. Using sometimes compelling soundbites from David Cameron’s speeches, they then demonstrate how pledges have failed or prmoises haven’t been kept.
The Liberal Democrats are using video to humanise the party particularly around Nick Clegg’s activities. The perception of Nick Clegg since his involvement in the coalition has largely deteriorated and the Liberal Democrats are clearly looking to improve the public image of their leader. Many of their videos show him engaging with people and presenting him in a positive light.
UKIP tend to focus on their main attraction – Nigel Farage. Many of their content is based around the party leader and speeches he has made giving a straight forward platform for Farage and the policies of the party. It’s probably the least creative of the channels considered here but, like the party, you know exactly what you are getting from it.
Finally the Green Party has used video in a different way again with this video poking fun at the main political parties. Their attempt at a humorous video to perhaps go viral demonstrates the approach that they need to take to gain a voice amongst the larger parties. As a minority party the Greens’ policy is to go against the grain and this video does that.
There are varying degrees of success for each of the parties on their You Tube channels. The Conservatives’ videos reach viewing numbers up to the hundreds of thousands while the Liberal Democrats’ videos get viewing numbers around the 20 – 30 mark and Labour hit around 2000 with their videos. On this basis it seems that winners in the video stakes are the Tories in engaging with the electorate via video. Whether that helps voters to decide and wins David Cameron the election remains to be seen. What can’t be denied is that the medium is now seen as a key element to an election campaign and video production and promotional videos is crucial to help politicians to engage with the voters.