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What Your Video Marketing Strategy Can Learn From the General Election

What Your Video Marketing Strategy Can Learn From the General Election

The 2015 UK general election was criticised for being “boring”, but some key moments were captivating. And guess what, almost all of these best bits were caught on video. Here’s three things the election can teach you about delivering a video marketing strategy.

If politicians, like marketers, want to communicate their version of the truth in the best way possible then they can learn a thing or two from legendary film director Jean-Luc Godard. The doyen of the French New Wave and creator of Breathless said: “Photography is truth. Cinema is the truth twenty-four times per second.”

So, video is the way to get your truth to the masses.

It’s no surprise. The stats speak for themselves: use video on your website and you can increase time on site by 105%, increase organic traffic from search by 157%, and you could see twice as many conversions as websites without video.

Back to the politics. The 2015 General Election was deemed to be dull by those in the know, but the most memorable moments were at their most shareable when packaged up in video form. Here’s our pick of the top three best moments from the election, and what your business’s video strategy can learn from each:

Hell Yes, I’m Tough Enough

In third place is Ed Miliband’s sparing with UK TV heavyweight Jeremy Paxman. Following an individual hustings-style debate and Q&A with the audience, the leaders sat down for a final grilling at the hands of one of British politic’s most feared interrogators. Paxman’s questioning of Miliband’s fortitude on the world stage caused the then Labour leader to lean in and say “Am I tough enough? Hell yes I’m tough enough.” All caught on camera, broadcast live, shared on social media and watched on demand by millions.

What We Can Learn

Causing the audience to simultaneously applaud and laugh, the moment reinforced the power of a quotable video soundbite. Soundbites still work — even if this one might have polarised the audience. In a world of bland content, make your videos standout from the crowd. Remember its quality not quantity that counts.

Get Lively

In second place is David Cameron’s attempt to inject some passion into the Conservative campaign. At the unlikely venue of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in London, an animated David Cameron used some choice language to tell a crowd of City workers that he was “pumped up” for the final 10 days of the election campaign. “If I'm getting lively about it, it's because I feel bloody lively about it.” Again, watched and shared by millions thus extending again and again the reach to potential voters.

What We Can Learn

If the election result was anything to go by, Cameron’s message was received loud and clear. But the stage management was perfectly judged: the whole scenario was neither too contrived nor too unprofessional, leaving everyone with a sense that, actually, Cameron might just have been speaking the truth. In short, don’t overdo the production values on your regular content, authentic content and a good quality playback experience will count for more.


The Russell Brand and Ed Miliband show grabs our top spot. It was too little too late for Miliband, but the surprise meeting of left-leaning minds between the politician and the comedian was a real spectacle, despite lacking any real headline-grabbing content that would drive the campaign forward. The result was an endorsement for Labour from comedian Brand, but the key moments, both political and non-political, were all Brand’s, not Miliband’s.

What We Can Learn

Russell Brand and Ed Miliband’s interview proved the intoxicating power of ‘event’ videos — centrepieces that other content can hang from. Brand himself proved this by releasing a trailer the day after the interview took place. Interestingly, some commentators criticised the video for taking so long to appear. Even political pundits expect instant content.

What all of the parties failed to do was to tell a convincing long-term story through video. They all stuck to the tried and tested ‘party political broadcast’ route, using self-contained plots, nobody daring to take a risk on wrapping their video strategies in a coherent narrative structure.

If video is the truth at 24 frames per second, make sure you put that truth in the right container.

This article originally appeared in Digital Marketing Magazine. 

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