A brief analysis of the greatest campaign video of all time 4 years ago

A brief analysis of the greatest campaign video of all time

Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please.

It has come to our understanding that the greatest and best piece of General Election 2017 campaigning has been discovered.

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It is a video, the subject of which is prospective Conservative MP Greg Knight. Greg Knight is standing for election in East Yorkshire, and as Greg Knight says, "if you live in East Yorkshire, I hope you'll vote for me."

This is important to note, because if you do not live in East Yorkshire, you cannot vote for Greg Knight. Why is this important to note?

Because once you've watched the video below, you will feel compelled to head straight to your nearest polling station and put a huge cross next to Greg Knight's name, but if you do not live in East Yorkshire, Greg Knight's name will not appear on your ballot paper.

Even if you cross out another candidate's name and write in 'Greg Knight', this will not count as a vote for Greg Knight. You cannot vote for Greg Knight unless you live in East Yorkshire.

Okay, here we go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt7lWRtfve8&feature=youtu.be

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Have you taken all that in? No? Well let's break this momma down for just a sec.

The entrance

Hovering half-out of shot, Greg Knight prepares for his big entrance. You can almost hear the director (read: intern that was handed a camera 15 minutes before shooting) telling Greg Knight, "Back a little... a little more... a little more... alright, close enough."

Greg Knight walks through an open door like no one else. He strolls in with the light, casual air of a man puffed up with a healthy dose of confidence and a little too much helium. He floats like a butterfly, stings like a Labour top tax rate of 50p.

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"Hello. My name's Greg Knight," Greg Knight says.

Hello Greg Knight.

The speech

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Not every politician is expected to be a great statesman. Oratory skills are important, but a sense of public duty and commitment to serving the needs of those you represent are the key virtues of an MP.

But Greg Knight has both, or at least one, and in absolute spades. Please, consult this transcript of his speech.

"Hello. My name's Greg Knight.

"I’m the Conservative candidate for East Yorkshire. There’s a General Election on the 8th of June and I hope, if you live in East Yorkshire, that you’ll vote for me.

"When you vote in an election you’re doing two things. You’re choosing who is your local representative, but you’re also choosing a Prime Minister.

"I hope you’ll vote for me and support Theresa May. We want a strong and stable government, not a coalition of chaos led by Jeremy Corbyn."

The Gettysburg Address. I Have a Dream. St. Crispin's Day. And now Greg Knight's Campaign Video Speech.

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Greg Knight's address is simple, direct. He strips away any kind of stylistic flair or linguistic interest, sticking either to pure facts ("There's a General Election on the 8th of June") or treading the Tory line (strong and stable/coalition of chaos).

It's a masterful exercise in using words to convey information. Greg Knight says things and you understand the things that Greg Knight says.

To his credit, he is streets ahead of his Tory top dogs in this realm.

But...

The snare roll

Hold the phone. Hold the fucking phone. Grasp that phone in your sweaty palm and clutch it so hard the SIM card splinters. Crush the receiver into smithereens, for everything is not as it seems.

Greg Knight isn't just dropping a campaign video.

He's dropping the fucking beat.

The jingle

No one saw it coming. What started as a simple plea to vote for a politician suddenly shifts into a kind of local radio jingle, the kind you find on Bumdale FM, sandwiched between a story on the clotted cream scandal at the church fate and Easy by The Commodores.

Greg Knight gives absolutely no hint that a solid Campaign Banger was about to hit the viewer square between the ears. The sly dog. This is electioneering at its best.

The musical arrangement is something to behold - a steady disco beat, top-drawer wedding vocals, and the very best keyboard that Argos had in stock - but it's the lyrics that really sell this beauty.

You’ll get accountability
With Conservative delivery
Make sure this time you get it right
Vote for Greg Knight

It's a shame that Bob Dylan finally delivered his Nobel Lecture, because if he hadn't, the composer of this masterpiece might have been in with a shout.

The zoom

Accompanying Greg Knight's Campaign Banger is a wild ride of a zoom, crashing in to a poster bearing Greg Knight's name. If we can break down this directorial decision, we reveal a solid piece of craftsmanship.

You will recall that in the first half of the video, Greg Knight moved into the shot, while the camera remained relatively stable,

In the second half of the video, it is the picture that moves, zooming in on the far wall, giving greater emphasis to the name Greg Knight, the name that Greg Knight wants you to put a cross next to on election day (but only if you live in East Yorkshire, Greg Knight fans).

This is Directing 101, but Greg Knight's campaign video has one little arty flair thrown in for good measure.

The blur

Part of the way through the zoom, a strange blur takes over the screen. If this was a mistake, as a lesser director may well have made, they would have gone back and reshot the scene, and yet it remains in the finished product.

Is it a comment? Is it a subliminal message? A subversion of the norm? A different lens through which to view Greg Knight? We cannot know for certain.

This then lends credence to the idea that we merely flirted with before, but are now utterly married to: this is not just a campaign video. It's a piece of art.

The finale

A magnificent finish. All of the salient details with the Prime Minister tagged on for good measure, cobbled together in MS Paint and plopped on the way out like a hearty poo.

This is the best campaign video ever produced. 17/10.

See you at the polls!