For thousands of people, the next few weeks will be life changing. Voters up and down the UK go to the polls; electing a new Scottish parliament, new assemblies in Northern Ireland and Wales, a London Mayor; council members in England, police commissioners and finally, a few weeks after all that – the crucial Brexit vote. How does Video, meaning and money reflect this…

Over 45 million people in the UK are eligible to vote.  In years gone past, would-be politicians wore out a lot of shoe leather, pounding the pavements and knocking on doors, engaging their constituents in conversation in an attempt to win that all-important cross in the box on polling day.

Now savvy politicians use the money they would have spent on shoes on video. Whether it’s a big budget, advertising led party political broadcasts or 90 second social media appearances; any candidate who understands the communication landscape of today will factor in video in their campaign.

Video, when used properly, can project personality and give a real insight into the person featured. Politicians are always very keen to show their ‘real’ side and want to be seen as if they are just like you and me; the problem with real-ness in video is it can backfire.

London Mayoral Videos

London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith is a social media veteran.  He uses photos and video to promote his campaign every day. He’s good on camera, he gives the impression that he understands his audience. However, his desire to show his ‘real-ness’ and to make sure it was captured on video backfired.

Questioned on his knowledge of London by Norman Smith in the back of a cab for the Victoria Derbyshire show on the BBC, Zac failed to name the football team that plays at Loftus Road and, despite saying he travels regularly on the tube, refused to answer a question about central line stations.  He also didn’t know where the Museum of London was.

A good video takes up the space and gets people talking.  Zac’s ‘back of my cab’ video was shared thousands of times on social media; however, the real power of this video may not bee seen until May 5th when London goes to the polls.

Full version of the interview can be seen here: https://youtu.be/CmHVtWeZEtQ