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  • J. Hartwell / A. Kalafa

This May Be The Worst Campaign Video Ever: Here are 7 What Not To Do Tips

Yes, we’re partisan, but this video makes for a great lesson in what not to do, no matter your political stripes. So we just couldn’t resist sharing it as an educational tool.

@:00 - :10 What are we seeing? Some empty seats and backs of people while the candidate marches past the camera to the front of the room. What are we hearing? The clip-pity-clop of high heels.

TIP #1: The first 10 seconds of your campaign video is your best chance to engage your audience. These precious seconds should NEVER be wasted!! Grab your audience with a quick introduction, or better yet, dive right in to the heart of your message.

@:35- :40 This clip goes in and out of focus and waves around enough to make a viewer seasick.

TIP #2: If you want to project a professional campaign image, don't use amateurs to shoot and edit your video.

@:38 - :40 Where's her head?

TIP #3: If you love the audio, but didn’t catch the shot, cut away to a text graphic or a great photo.

@:41 - :54 Is that guy on the left sleeping? The image is so dark, so it’s hard to tell what we are supposed to be looking at.

TIP #4: Always show your subject in their best light. Proper lighting directs the viewer's attention where you want it to go.

@:41 - :53 In the same clip as above, the audio is also awful. The candidate sounds like she's underwater.

TIP #5: Never record audio using a built-in microphone. Use a directional mic, preferably wireless and attached to the candidate (if that's not available, then use a professional microphone directly in front of him or her) to clearly record just the clean sound you want viewers to hear.

@1:24 - 2:11 Okay, that sleepy guy on the left is making his move. What’s he doing? Changing chairs? The camera operator attempts to reframe him out of the shot, just in time to catch a nice close up of the next guy chewing a mouthful of food, wiping his mouth, drinking, scratching his nose - everything but paying attention to the speaker, clearly indicating boredom. And how about you? Have you understood ANYTHING the candidate is talking about????

TIP #6: Professional video framing, movement and editing is a critical non-verbal language that speaks volumes about your public image and communication skills. It takes the instincts of a professional to anticipate distractions and reframe the focus where you want it to be.

@2:28 - Ever taken an acting class? “Never turn your back on the audience” is one of the basic rules.

TIP #7: Unless there’s a really convincing reason, don't use footage of a candidate's backside.

If you haven’t turned off the video by now, you may as well. Spoiler alert - the next minute and a half are more of the same.

The team at Digital Campaign Solutions has produced network news, worked on Presidential campaigns, created feature documentaries, and scripted and filmed scores of videos for local campaigns. WE CAN HELP YOU craft your message and present it in the very best light.

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