We are now in the age of the uni campaign video
They’re here to stay
It occurs first very slowly, and then all at once.
For a few weeks every year, your campus becomes a swamp of posters for union election candidates. The first few you barely notice, until all of a sudden you step out of the library into a gallery of A4 nightmares, ideas Goebbels would probably consider a bit too intimidating.
They grin at you in front of overly-ambitious puns and the hashtags only they use, employing every stylistic device necessary to court your vote. This has been the way for a long time now, and it’s perfectly fine.
Now though, we have the all-consuming behemoth that is the campaign video. From the early days of one or two brave souls speaking to camera like the YouTube vlogger they wish they were, we now are treated to an exhaustive supply of home-made cinematic delights.
There are seemingly two ways of going about making them: musically or spoken word. The latter is now seen as so boring it could all but torpedo a campaign due to sheer forget-ability.
The music video, at least in the minds of those who make them, are fun, quirky three minute efforts that display a candidate’s ability to mix pop culture with vague promises like “making the union more about you”.
So ubiquitous are these that if you don’t have one, you will barely even register when people fill out their ballot. You’ll be a Lib Dem.
Twitter and Facebook will be a catalogue of these barely-viral wonders, all fighting for your attention. Wannabe union officers are now even releasing sequels in order to keep their name in your head. As if their creative genius cannot be contained in one production.
I’ll freely admit that I have enjoyed more than a few of them, because since when has someone you know trying to sing and make a tit of themselves not been funny? It’s just that every year there’ll be a few “so bad they’re good” efforts, a few “actually very good” ones, and a whole lot of boring, unmemorable twaddle.
Which is a real shame, because the guys who spent less time trying to get their manifesto to scan with Snow’s 1992 rap classic “Informer” probably spent more time actually thinking of some half-decent policies.
I have nothing against anyone who genuinely wants to improve their uni and have a laugh about it, I know I’d shit bricks at the prospect of having to sing on camera and then encourage people to “share it around” of all things. I still wince at tipsy tweets I made weeks ago.
However, the phenomenon of the campaign video has become so widespread it has superseded any actual engagement many of us might have in student politics.
Sorry if I’m being a joyless dick, as mentioned there are some genuinely excellent ones out there, and (who knows?) maybe the next Wes Anderson has been roped in by his mates to produce a piece of uni election history. They can’t all be as good as this one though:
We’ll vote for that guy with the hair who did that funny ear-splitting Mumford and Sons cover then go down the pub and forget all about it. Meanwhile, the lyrically-challenged girl is off crying somewhere, rueing the fact there wasn’t a big enough bass drop on her tame effort.
From one or two chucklesome parodies a year to the tsunami of crimes against music we have now, these videos have come slowly, and then all at once. They’re not going to go away either.
Don’t forget to vote.