Category Archives: Liberal Democrats UK

Clegg apologises for making a promise

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader who is in coalition government the Conservative Party, has released a video in which he speaks directly to camera with intensity, bordering on desperation, about his decision to abandon his promise to block any rise in tuition fees.

The apology comes two years after his party broke their pledge and in the form of “sorry we promised you something we couldn’t deliver on” as opposed to “sorry we broke our promise”.

Clegg’s delivery is good and he is undoubtedly feeling very sorry; whether that is genuinely about his betrayal of supporters or about his party’s polling is up for debate.

The video has sparked spoofs with ‘honesty subtitles’ which have proved popular.  One example here:

Boris Johnson: The NightMayor

Finally!  A decent piece of video content for one of the candidates for London Mayor (although Paddick’s official campaign claim to have had nothing to do with it).

The NightMayor attacks Boris Johnson for his percieved absence during the 2011 London Riots and his purported culprability for issues surrounding News of The World links with the Metropolitcan Police.

The film concludes with a piece of positive messaging around Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate, and leaves viewers with the damning end line “jokes aren’t funny the second time around”.

The video carries a simply and effective narrative by professionally putting together  existing footage of both Boris Johnson and the Lib Dem candidate.  Yes, the ‘movie-trailer-as-political-ad’ has been done to death, but if it’s done well it can be very impactful.

Whoever’s pulled this together has obviously had some experience in production and, my word, doesn’t it show.  Paddick’s campaign is having a strong back straight!

Brian Paddick Poster – Police are wasted on cannabis

Brian Paddick’s campaign have released a poster which calls for London’s police force to take a more relaxed position on dealing (tee hee) with cannabis.

It features the headline “Police are wasted on cannabis” and asserts that massive amounts of police time, money and energy is misspent policing the sale and use of the herb.

Now this is a ballsy advertising! As David Trott, creative advertising legend, famously says: the first job of any piece of advertising is “get noticed”.  Well done Team Paddick for having the cojones to be bold.

Brian Paddick has two significant points of difference from the mainstream candidates:

1. His background, policing, isn’t one of either of the ruling elites that most people despise – politics or journalism.

2. He has some policies which differentiate him from the two leading candidates; in this case, relaxation of rules on policing smoking marijuana.

And, as any sensible marketeer would do, he’s making these points of ‘product difference’ into seemingly functional benefits.  Very good.

The next step is to build an emotional connection, based on these functional benefits, with the audience.  If I was running his campaign, I’d be busy thinking up an ad along the lines of “what London means to me”.

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Citizin Lem

This, as I understand it, is a genuine piece of  political advertising l for Lembik Opik’s campaign for the Lib Dem mayoral nomination.  Utterly laughable.  Is it bad enough that it’s almost good?  I don’t think so.  Just it’s just really weird and makes the viewer feel genuinely uncomfortable.

David Cameron – Common People Video

A very funny video taking the piss out of Cameron and Osborne’s privileged backgrounds using a re-write of Pulp’s ‘Common People’ track.  Great copy writing, appropriate visual imagery and unsurprisingly getting a huge amount of traction online.

You’re Nicked!

David Schneider (of The Day Today and Alan Partridge  fame) has made a very funny piece of light political satire called ‘You’re Nicked’.  I’m not sure if the aim’s to take the piss out of Nick Clegg or David Cameron, but you finish watching the video feeling worse about both of them.

If nothing else, it shows that trying to stand for a ‘new politics’ requires a completely new vocabulary in order to avoid sounding like you’re dishing out empty rhetoric.

Labservative

A very good video from the Liberal Democrats promoting their Labservative campaign.  The crux of the campaign is that for the last 65 years we’ve had either a Labour or Tory government and the Liberal Democrats are making the case that the two are as indistinguishable as they are incapable.  To make the campaign unbranded is an incredibly bold strategy and I suspect a significant reason for the campaign’s success thus far.

Political ad scamps

As mentioned previously, the agency 360 Recruitment are inviting comments throughout the creative development process that will eventually lead to publication of some political adverts in The Independent on Sunday.   They’ve posted the first round of scamps in the article ‘Things can only get bitter’.

Above are my personal favourites.  Both deal with the issue of the next election in clever, original and compelling ways.

In general elections there are really only ever two ads that can be made (obviously there are almost infinite numbers of smart, innovate ways of dressing up them up):

1. Time for a change (opposition party).

2. We’re doing ok, and better than the other lot would, so don’t spoil a good thing (incumbent party).

The featured adverts communicate the ‘it’s time for a change’ message, in a relevant and poignant way, whilst at the same time rubbishing the ‘everything is ok’ line of that the government will inevitably roll out. 

Getting a majority of people to change their default position (i.e. voting Labour for the last 12 years) is incredibly difficult and opposition parties will be up against a vicious combination of nostalgia and conservatism.  The featured adverts deal with the human instinct to stick with the devil you know and then urge voters to opt for a different future.

Speechbreaker

A great new website by Lean Mean Fighting Machine for the Lib Dems.

You can choose snippets of speeches from the leaders of all three main political parties and compose your own personalised manifesto. 

You can preview your clip, then hit ‘enter’ and it automatically uploads to a specific YouTube channel.  Literally hundreds of videos have been uploaded.  Great fun.  Not sure how much it does for the Lib Dems.  But still, great fun.