This year there’s been much talk about ‘dark social’ advertising, with political agendas being pushed through the use of sophisticated targeting tools on Facebook and YouTube to serve ads to specific demographics in key marginal seats.
The ‘dark’ aspect comes in because such ads aren’t open to wider public scrutiny, and with accusations about its misuse, whoever wins the general election, this will be a continuing debate.
However, the political parties are still broadcasting official election videos on terrestrial television, so here’s a rundown noting the video strategies at play.
The Green Party
The left-field comedy of this ‘Change The Game’ film from the Green Party pits old against young, mirroring much public opinion surrounding the current political landscape. While not going heavy on specific policy issues, it’s clear the message is to revamp the ‘race to No. 10’, parodying political soundbites of recent years to highlight the apparent absurdity of it all.
Comedy is a great route to connecting with audiences, and this effort certainly stands out for its departure from the norm – echoing core sentiments of Green Party beliefs.
Twitter Likes: 1K
Facebook Likes: 2.8K
Facebook views: 210K
YouTube views: 30K
“Strong and stable” has been the Conservative slogan this year, and the production values behind their ‘Getting the best Brexit deal for Britain’ video certainly attempt to reinforce this message.
The bright lighting and rousing music is used to frame Theresa May as a respectable leader as she delivers her Downing Street speech, evoking a sense of patriotism for good measure.
Retweets: N/A. (Video hasn’t been published on the official Conservative Twitter account.)
Twitter Likes: N/A
Facebook Likes: N/A. (Video hasn’t been published on the Conservative Facebook page.)
Facebook views: N/A
YouTube views: 750K
The ‘man of the people’ image of Jeremy Corbyn is underlined in Labour’s ‘Let’s do it differently’ broadcast, which uses testimonials from real supporters. I’ve recently written about why case studies should be central to B2B video strategies, and the same principles apply here: using footage of real people resonates with target audiences, building a sense of trust and authenticity.
Clips of Labour supporters are interspersed with Corbyn discussing policy points, speaking at rallies and posing alongside members of the public – all helping to emphasise the ‘for the many, not the few’ strapline.
Twitter Likes: 1.3K
Facebook Likes: 4.8K
Facebook views: 1.4M
YouTube views: 4.5K
First published online in January, in preparation for the spring local elections, the Lib Dems’ ‘Groundhog Day’ effort has since been broadcast on television in the wake of the general election announcement.
I’m a firm believer that emotional storytelling is the key to marketing success, and here Tim Farron’s team are tapping into the emotions of fear and remorse to provoke a response, urging them to use their vote wisely rather than shrugging shoulders and looking the other way.
Retweets: N/A. (Video hasn’t been published on the Lib Dems’ Twitter account.)
Twitter Likes: N/A.
Facebook Likes: 462 (Number of likes for the shorter version, published in January.)
Facebook views: 15K (Number of views for the shorter version, published in January.)
YouTube views: 33K
Who gets your vote?
Looking at the number of YouTube views, it’s a Conservative landslide with more than 750K defeating the Greens and Lib Dems at just over 30K each, and trouncing Labour on just over 4K.
However, the Ken Loach-produced Labour video has garnered 1.2 million Facebook views, whereas the Conservatives don’t appear to have published their official video on Facebook at all.
It’s also interesting that despite using the ‘Groundhog Day’ film for their television broadcast, the Lib Dems haven’t been promoting it on social media – neglecting to upload a re-edited version to Twitter, while their Facebook houses a shorter version published in January, three months before the election was called.
Additionally, the Conservatives and Labour have opted to disable YouTube comments, while the Greens and Lib Dems haven’t taken such action. Comments sections can be a minefield of lively debate, so it’s interesting to see which parties have exercised caution.
Ultimately, the number of views, likes and shares won’t matter come June 9th, as the only successful video strategy will belong to whomever holds the keys to No. 10. However, as opinion polls are the currency of election debate, I’d be keen to hear which video you prefer.
Who had the best party political broadcast?
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