In the light of Brexit, the June 2017 Election Campaign is particularly focused on the strength of leadership. As such, short films are far more powerful than ever. The individual leader can resonate with the public down the eye of a camera, giving more insight into that leader’s persona. Written quotes and newspaper columns cannot provide that insight as effectively.

Theresa May has promoted herself throughout the campaign as “stable and strong” knowing that her leadership is a major factor for voters, but she still decided to stoop (in the opinion of critics) to “bingate” on The One Show to portray her personal, approachable side. The same interview on paper would have looked ridiculous.

Whilst critics may snigger at this appearance on a light entertainment show, her advisers know that, showing politicians in interview is the most impactful way to engage with a large audience. The voting public can see body language, expression, empathy, strength, warmth and knowledge. The leader is even able to hint at a certain level of vulnerability which reminds the viewer that they are human, and not soundbite robots. “They’re just like you and me”.

So, how does this transfer to the typical Party Political Broadcast film, or even a corporate video? It all sounds rather simple – let’s set up a video, chat for a while and put it out to the mass market. This is not the case. In fact, not paying attention to the quality of the video, and how it is produced, can cause considerable damage to a political party or company. The electorate, like potential clients, are tired of being played by rhetoric and empty promises delivered with a smile.

The political parties recently released their broadcasts for this 2017 election. There is a considerable difference in how these have been approached. UKIP have produced a very basic film with a home grown feel to it. There are no whistles and bells, and very little production. The Labour Party’s election broadcast was directed by award-winning Film Director, Ken Loach who worked with a full production team and writers.

How will these differences resonate with the voters? Some may appreciate the no-nonsense approach of the UKIP broadcast, whereas others will say that it looks cheap and wonder whether that reflects what the party stands for. Some may consider the Labour Party film to be too “showy” for such a socialist party whereas others may consider it to be representative of the image the party wants to convey. Both films will insight a reaction of some sort, so it is hugely important for both parties that they get the reaction they need to attract their target voters.

If video is used to promote any organisation or business, its quality, image and message must be the top priority, otherwise the reputation of whatever is being promoted will be tarnished. Even if UKIP believe that a video that looks home-made is a way of resonating with the electorate, this approach is unlikely to work for a professional business.

Approach all videos as if they are a major production…… even if you are doing content in-house or doing an off-the-cuff, humorous video for your social media. There must always be a plan, particularly for live video, where it is easy to be caught out. Ask Diane Abbot! There is also the potential for a video to be parodied and ridiculed if there is any sign of weakness. Ask Donald Trump! Once your video is out there, it’s never coming back!

Tell your story, engage your market, grow your business.

Rob Hallam