Video Production and Political Campaigns

Every election season it happens,  video campaigns come out from both sides of the aisle in an attempt to reach voters and spread the candidates message. In addition the televised and internet coverage of debates, interviews, and press conferences keeps us connected to the election. Politics is an example of the true power of video. 

Since the dawn of TV, video has been used as an ever important tool for politicians to sway the vote of the public in one direction or another. The presidential debate between Kennedy and Nixon was the first televised political debate in history. This changed politics forever, suddenly people cared about a politicians "swagger" and personal charm. Nixon was said to look uncomfortable on stage while Kennedy was calm, cool, and collected. This is what made how a politician looked on camera matter. This debate changed history and it has never been the same since.

Video works because it remains to be the most powerful form of communication available next to  real life connection. With video the subjects body language, tone of voice, and eye contact are all used to connect with viewers not only in a logical way but also on an emotional level.  Its more powerful than written word because emotions and ideas are not conveyed through text alone, rather through voice and visual cues much like real face to face interaction.

The amount of information conveyed in a 30 second or 60 second video spot is also important to remember because much more information can be conveyed in a video than through written word. With video images, audio, color, and text are all avenues in which information travels to the viewer or audience. Because of the wide spread that information can travel, the sheer amount of information a viewer absorbs during a 30 second commercial spot versus a 2 page document is much greater.

Video is also a medium that todays society is comfortable with. So much of what todays society does is centered around video. This medium is everywhere and people are surrounded by it 24/7 TV, Computers, Phones, and other devices are constantly displaying some form of video communication. It is used for everything from entertainment to education. 

Gone are the days of Truman's "whistle stop campaigns" today politicians can announce to the world anything they wish and campaign almost solely through video and social media.  When Hillary Clinton announced her run for president she took to YouTube to let the world know. Todays candidates are getting smarter about using this incredibly powerful tool. A candidate can quite literally connect with the whole world through the click of a button. In recent years online video outlets have become the largest "town hall" for political debates and discussion.

One other point to note is that ever increasingly live video is becoming popular. Apps like periscope, Facebooks live broadcasting feature, and YouTubes livestream feature allow anyone with a connected device and a camera to broadcast anything from virtually anywhere in the world. For politics this could make video even more powerful and more important for a candidates campaign. It is one thing to see a politicians TV campaign or to watch a news interview, but seeing them at home doing things like get ready in the morning, walking their dog, or spending time with their families is a whole other experience. Live video has the potential to bring the general public even closer to the lives of political candidates. It has the potential to show the more human side of many of todays political candidates. 

For a campaign to be successful it needs to be well produced. In a quality video, the message is the center of the ad and it is conveyed to the audience loud and clear without distraction.  In a poorly produced video, the candidates message is often forgotten about and gets lost in poor production techniques. Overall video is an incredibly important tool for any political candidate, and it is important to use this tool wisely and work with a capable and quality production team to create effective videos that connect with voters on an emotional level. 

-Christopher Settineri