Monday, May 11, 2009

For your viewing pleasure

As we're talking party election broadcasts I thought I'd do a quick review of those available online right now (an idea sparked by Joseph in the comments thread). I've linked to them all so you can judge for yourselves, and it's kind of nice to have them collected all in one place too.

Firstly Labour.

Truly, truly dismal. Three minutes of Gordon Brown droning on about something or other. A few shots showing what close friends he is with Obama and then he kind of lurches at you at the end grinning like a buffoon.

High point: Who knows? Lost in the droning monotone.
Low point: Brown's desperate lunge towards the voters.

Secondly the Conservatives.

Slicker than a Brylcreemed weasel on his way to an indecent proposal - far better production values and coherence than Labour's effort. Extraordinary selling points include "Yes, we'll keep tuition fees" and "No, I won't sort out your son's schooling". Actually I think that will play rather well despite the villainy behind the politics of it all.

High point: Jaunty pace. Cameron does some expert pointing.
Low point: Attempts to appear in touch with yoof culture.

Professor Clegg lectures an extremely board, silent schoolroom. For something billed as a conversation it's extremely one sided, I'd call it the Clegg monologue. In many ways it's a carbon copy of the Tory broadcast, just not as good. Town hall meetings, but no fizz. Serious pointing, but unconvincing to say the least. Does have more ethnic representation though.

High point: The beginning has pace and looks like the start of a great broadcast.
Low point: Clegg lecturing people who look like they've been there for hours.

What about UKIP?

One message repeated endlessly, hypnotically reinforced with large letters looming out of the mist. Europe costs us £40 million, £40 million, £40 million, £40 million - get it? Interesting interview with an EU bureaucrat standing for Europe to "go back and sort them out" which may go down well with some.

High point: They know their audience and play to them well.
Low point: The constant lies really.

Then there's the SNP

Starts out with Salmond as the trendy teacher sitting on the edge of the desk giving us a friendly chat, which works reasonably well. It then inexplicably transmutes into a bizarre metaphor about politics as a game of keepy uppy. Very Scottish weather.

High point: Salmond reassures us with numbers.
Low point: Do they really want us to associate them with football in the cold and sleet?

Last but not least there's Plaid

I'm really torn on this one. It has a bleak and dark feeling to it. It vividly paints a picture of a miserable nation - but maybe that will play well in Wales? It's very humane and I liked the scale of it, but simultaneously it did feel like it was locked in the last century (the ambiance not the policies). The political equivalent of Diazepam or the kindly hug of a well meaning uncle.

High point: A real sense of rootedness.
Low point: Not many laughs in it.

As an aside. Love the intro music when you enter the Plaid site. Very crystal healing.

I've already highlighted the Greens, so I wont do so again (but I liked it).


Aaron said...

I really like the Plaid one. The Green one is actually growing on me and has had very positive feedback on the Youtube.


Lib Dem one looks like those people are being committed to torture.

Tory makes me feel slimey just by watching it. "I'm here for another Cameron Direct"? Fuck off Dave.

Labour is very dismal and I'm surprised they haven't managed to make something better.

The no2eu one should be interesting and definitely looking forward to the BNP broadcast - they always have the same "people like you" actors in lmao!

Jim Jay said...

No2EU have a video on their site but it features Tony Benn prominently so it can't be their election broadcast - so I decided not to review it (as it would a terrible election broadcast, but as an educational mini-film it's not bad at all)

Natalie Bennett said...

My ratings (on the video and its likely effectiveness, not their politics...)

Labour 3/10
Tory 8/10
Lib Dem 4/10
UKIP 5/10
SNP 6/10
Plaid 6/10

Jim Jay said...

Oh! Lib Dem below UKIP - that's harsh consdiering the state of the UKIP broadcast! The audience did look *really* bored by Clegg though!

Also I think the SNP broadcast did focus on the fact it rains alot in Scotland a bit too much so I couldn't possibly place it equal with Plaid - which was quite touching.

Other than that I think the order is about right.

Natalie Bennett said...

But I think that while UKIP wasn't sophisticated, continual repeating of a simple powerful, if totally flawed, message, could be quite powerful for the target audience.

Barkingside 21 said...

It's called the "broken record technique" but you have to be old enought to remember vinyl and Dansette record players.

Jim Jay said...

Just watched the BNP broadcast here.

Sadly not as incompetant as I'd hoped it would be, although hardly a work of genius either.

Classic line: "As a British National councillor working with {long pause to think of anyone who will work with him} other British National councillors"

Also do people "perform" shopping?

Unlike UKIP it didn't mention immigration (although there were a couple of references to "our country") and it tried to push the housing, anti-social behaviour and old people buttons.

Summary: Wont put off their core vote sadly - but unlikely to encourage anyone to vote for them either.

Gordon said...

The Labour one seems to be different to what's on iPlayer.

Green Gordon said...

And the Plaid one.

Jim Jay said...

That's because there's two sets of party politicals for each party that is standing in the Euros and the locals.

The lib dems have split there's into part one and two and others have done there's as explicitly euro and locals - I've not watched all the second set yet.

Aaron said...

Labour have an awful PEB too with some random boxing (it would've been good if it was John Prescott) and people telling us why David Cameron would be so bad. It just looks like a party with nothing positive to say.

Green Gordon said...

Actually the two labour ones both seem to be for Europe, not the locals...

And what do Cameron's policies (in the Labour punchbag ad) have to do with Europe?

Jim Jay said...

It's the way the BBC allocates them - I assume the parties can decide their own content, so if they want to talk about other stuff that's up to them I guess.

Anyway, the point is I've pointed to the first round and haven't had time to look at the second wave yet so I'm more than happy to hear whether any of the second lot were improvements on the first.

I was told at the weekend that the BBC will do them for free as long as you're happy with just a piece to camera - hadn't realised that - quite handy to know for when i launch my breakaway splinter party!

Jim Jay said...

Just seen the Christian broadcast here.

I guess I'm obsessed with minutae but I keep thinking things like "why are they standing in front of a white elephant?", and "do you *really* think associating yourself with Bill Clinton will make you seem personally ethical?" but that's there choice I guess.

The fusion between the two christian groupings does seem a bit weird though when they openly say tat one is a conservative party dedicated to low taxes and market capitalism and the other says he's a social democrat and internationalist.

The thing I like best though is that they claim their vote is worth "upto four times as much as the Greens" because of PR, *immediately* followed by a slogan "for honesty and integrity in politics"

Let's see your maths then because from where I'm standing a party who doesn't get enough to even win one seat is a symbolic vote which can be worthwhile but cannot be said to stop other parties getting in or be worth precisely four times another party's vote. Nul points!

People may be interested that all the broadcasts are now up at the BBC from one page

Jim Jay said...

Compare the English Christians to the Welsh Christian broadcast

The Welsh Christian one is fantastic! Passion runs through it, powerful stuff.