Political campaign videos that do not suck?
December 11, 2017 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Have you seen any short political campaign videos that moved you, educated you, went viral, or otherwise went outside the norm? I need inspiration!

Inspired by the awfulness of the last year, I am running for a somewhat obscure political position. Trying to run a campaign differently, I want to make a fun campaign video that is short, punchy, educational (what does this office DO?), irreverent, inclusive, and lets my voters get to know me. What I'd like to avoid are rippling American flags, geography, and cheesy music with no useful information. I have a great film maker lined up but he's an artist, not a politician and he wants examples of what I'm looking for. I can describe it in words -- quick cuts, reenactment of voters asking me what I'm going to do about the potholes in their street (I have nothing to do with potholes or streets), a few key troubling statistics in text.

I am open to anything from student counsel campaigns to presidential campaign videos, issue ads, or even commercial advertisements. When I was a kid, this Wellstone ad was pretty legendary, and it has the right underdog mood, but it feels a little slow for my purposes.
posted by *s to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I thought the Randy Bryce video was well done. He's running against Paul Ryan.

I was maybe a little quick to post this -- it's not a very short or punchy. I just really like it.
posted by sewellcm at 9:02 AM on December 11, 2017

I liked A Conversation with Uncle Jagmeet and Theo a lot.
posted by Jairus at 9:05 AM on December 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

Also in WI: a buddy of mine primaried for governor a few years back.
posted by teremala at 9:05 AM on December 11, 2017

This get him out of the house political ad is from a guy who I probably wouldn't agree with on anything (you don't count purchasing light rail cars based on a single trip) but the ad itself is pretty funny.
posted by cnc at 9:17 AM on December 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

He didn't win, but Jason Kander's viral ad where he assembles a rifle blindfolded was really clever.
posted by superfluousm at 9:18 AM on December 11, 2017 [8 favorites]

This one from Dana Nessel, Michigan Attorney General Candidate, does not suck.
posted by lizifer at 9:18 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Amy McGrath, Kentucky, for Congress.
posted by nothing.especially.clever at 11:24 AM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'm not going to point you to examples, because you'll then be tempted to copy those examples. Instead, I'm going to give you some tips:

60 seconds or less. A minute is an eternity in terms of time, especially when it comes to video. I know it doesn't sound like it, but trust me on this; I've seen way too many interminable web videos. Anything longer than two minutes is way too long. I've found from personal experience that 60 seconds is the sweet spot here.

Be yourself. I can't emphasize this one enough. These days, being authentic is the best thing you can be. That comes from being yourself, and being true to yourself. If you're funny or irreverent, that's fine; but don't force humor just because you feel that's a "thing" you have to do. If you're an earnest person, then be that! Don't feel like you have to check every box in a video.

Lastly: don't sweat the video. It's just a video. It's not going to make or break your campaign.

Oh, one other thing -- there's no "trying to run a campaign differently". Most winning campaigns, particularly for local office, end up looking the same from a mechanics perspective. If you have questions about running for local office, shoot me a MeMail. I've done this now for about 20-odd years. Happy to help you.
posted by arkhangel at 2:07 PM on December 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Do not make a video that says "This job has nothing to do with potholes." You don't want voters associating the job title with potholes--the way mental associations work, there is no "negative" possible. They will only remember "job title... potholes... something something budget?"

If you want a "what this job is not," video, make it something ridiculous. "This job does NOT find homes for orphan polar bears! Not that we don't all want them to have good homes, but that's outside the scope of the [county tax assessor]."

If the job is, f'rex, "tax assessor," pick a what-we're-not based on the name. "We assess taxes, not the tacks in your corkboard. We absolutely will not regulate the contents nor the quality of pins on your office message board."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:14 PM on December 11, 2017

I would not describe them as informative, but Mike Gravel's ads did get people talking about an otherwise little-known candidate.


posted by waffleriot at 4:16 PM on December 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've always thought Lisa Murkowski's Spelling Bee ad Spelling Bee ad for her write-in campaign was really good - and it worked!
posted by pointystick at 8:51 PM on December 11, 2017

This is from Brazil, a councillor's campaign in Belo Horizonte.

Lyrcis are about more representation, equality, diversity and the candidate herself. They're in the description and maybe google translate could help if you don't understand Portuguese.

Chorus is -

É preciso mudar [change is needed]
Vamos juntas vencer [let's overcome together]
Vem participar [come and join in]
Conto com você! [I count on you]
posted by squishles at 2:39 AM on December 12, 2017

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