End of the Party Political Broadcast? Episode 3: Liberal Democrats

Hello, and welcome to the third part of our exploration of modern-day televisual political advertising, straight from backstage at SUSU Theatre Group’s Rhinoceros. I hope you’re currently all enjoying the political debates, which I’ll certainly catch up on after the show, but if you feel the need to let your mind wander, I do hope you enjoy what’s here. Today, I’m tackling the Party Political Broadcast from the:

Liberal Democrats

The PPB from the Liberal Democrats is, like the Conservative equivalent, mainly focused on the party leader. However, it so far seems the most policy driven.

What does it say about the Lib Dems? A shot-by-shot analysis: Opening shot: lots and lots of paper. We see one sheet noting, “NO STUDENT TUITION FEES – Labour”. Cut to shot of grass, with tumbleweed-esque balls of paper rolling through shot. Some more shots of Conservative and Labour policies on sheets of paper. Shot of Westminster, with the floor outside covered in paper. Cue shot of Clegg walking towards camera, talking about how Britain has been littered with broken promises. So far, he is funnier than Izzard. Clegg continues walking towards the camera, talking us through some more broken promises, all the while, treading over lots of paper. Clegg says it’s time for promises to be kept. Shot of paper flying in wind. More shots of paper rolling past council blocks. Clegg, still walking, says that Britain has become unfair for us people. He is right that we are people. Switch to shot of Clegg walking towards camera in urban setting. Lots more paper. Clegg says we can change the country if we work together. Clegg launches into an explanation of his ‘fair taxes’ policy (no tax on the first £10,000 you earn), justifying this by resolving to close ‘major loopholes’. Setting changes to suburban, with Clegg walking through paper-filled streets, speaking about his education policies (cutting class sizes, more support). Moves then on to discussion of new green infrastructure which will lead to new economy. Lots more paper. Still walking, Clegg stresses his party’s commitment to fair politics will enable people to sack their MPs. He also brings in his desire to change the voting system. Clegg walking across field strewn with paper, talking about ‘fair’ new world. Final shot of Clegg walking across field, past flying sheets of paper.

Opinion: What’s immediately noticeable is that the Lib Dem PPB is focused far more on politics, at the expense of ‘razzle-dazzle’, flashy camera shots, shots of voters, and the like. Since the whole thing is narrated by Clegg, the Lib Dems also seem to have caught on that it’s necessary to sell the ‘Clegg’ brand as a viable alternative to Brown and Cameron. However, what we’re left with is a very informative video that doesn’t necessarily jump out and grab you. I think the purpose of this video is more to inform, than to attract attention. I do also hope that they recycled all that paper.

Well, that’s all, folks. Unless, of course, there’s the demand for me to cover the PPBs from other parties, such as the Green Party, UKIP, and the BNP. Do let me know in the comments if you’d like to read such things. Otherwise, expect a conclusion to this conundrum tomorrow.

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One Comment on “End of the Party Political Broadcast? Episode 3: Liberal Democrats”

  1. seanfsmith says:

    I feel that looking at the smaller parties’ PPBs will be really interesting, and also greatly useful – especially as more of them seem to be demanding more equality and recognition.


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