Marketing Secretary William Baxter continues his analysis of the Party Political Broadcasts and argues for Labour’s much improved second offering
After delivering a toddler’s limp slap a few weeks ago, Labour has finally built up enough energy to land an uppercut into Team Theresa May’s chin. That’s right, Labour’s Party Election Broadcast 2.0 has dropped, and this time it’s actually worth watching for something other than a cheap laugh.
Firstly, can someone please call the other parties and ask them if they need tech support? Where are their broadcast videos? In a world where it is possible to gain millions of retweets to get some chicken nuggets, surely they recognise the value of getting films on social media. Imagine the scenes at Tory HQ right now – row after row of grey haired men in suits trying to figure out how to connect typewriters to YouTube. The Lib Dem office is probably little better – two 12-year-old interns (the party’s “Marketing Department”) filming each other sans ties on Snapchat whilst crudely defacing pixelated printouts of Philip May.
What a victory for Labour. Granted, this may be their only victory for quite some time, but a great victory nonetheless. Despite having literally no budget (Ed Miliband’s had to resort to mowing lawns to supplement his salary) Labour have delivered two videos, the second of which is really rather good.
In a rare turn for Labour (the party of the northern miner who orders a tall gravy at Starbucks, remember) the video starts with an overhead of the Houses of Parliament. A bold move for the party trying to move away from a ‘Westminster elite’ label, but nonetheless a far stronger opening than the AI-filled classroom of their last ad. Pleasantries are disposed with – there’s to be no hammy acting or atrociously written scripting for this broadcast.
So what’s the big idea for this broadcast? Labour have kept it simple – a well-liked acting star from the world of British TV (Maxine Peake) delivering a simple, easy to comprehend speech on Labour’s policy. Case-closed, easy peasy, that’s how you do a party political broadcast. Why didn’t the marketing and communications team realise this last time?
The content is good. Peake tackles Tory failings far more competently than Nurse Ratched and her classroom of child actors did previously, although similar ground is covered – massive cuts to public services, here with added emphasis on the damage this will do to working people. This is followed with statistics showing that home ownership is at its lowest rate for years; a comment sure to resonate with younger people faced with the possibility of never owning a home.
Failures to protect police forces are dealt with well, although critics could very easily point to the lack of foreign and defence policy in the video. No matter – promising to invest in local police is still a guaranteed hit with middle England voters, taking a chunk out of traditional Tory safe policy. Of course, any argument about Labour’s policy to increase police numbers can be shot down by Diane Abbot – at last count, starting salary for the potential 2018 intake stands at a free uniform and all the food they can nick from the staff room.
So far, so strong, so stable (sorry). Labour’s slogan (‘for the many, not the few’) appears four times in the clip, with three verbal mentions and a final spot in the end title card. Truthfully, it would’ve been nice to see a campaign that didn’t rely on the verbal diarrhoea of a pithy slogan repeated ad infinitum, but clearly that’s what it takes to win elections these days. Make political campaigning great again, I say. Still, I suppose it’s worth noting that Labour’s greatest success came off the back of telling our parents that things could only get better.
Labour’s new election broadcast really is a vast improvement on the last one. There is nothing to mock here – Labour’s marketing team clearly have a hatred of comment writers trying to think of something decent to say. Where’s the support for this group in society?
Still, a very good effort. Finally Labour’s broadcasts might start to be attacked for reasons of policy as opposed to just being a bit crap.