Count Us In

Local candidates take to YouTube to get down with the kids 10.02.16

Stop the cringe

Both parties and Local candidates are taking to YouTube to reach new voters instead of relying on posters and written materials to reach their constituents.

The videos are giving the candidates the freedom to address party policy while also discussing issues that have been raised with them on a local level.

However, it's fair to say that some are better at using the now ten-year-old social network than others.

The Good

Sinn Féin's party broadcast is 1916-themed and discusses "a new rising at the ballot box" against "the mé féiners, the gombeen politicans, the bankers, the bondholders and crooked developers".

It's highly-produced, well-shot and tugs on the heartstrings as it's supposed to - even if the girl narrating can be seen reading from a script in parts.

It's possibly the best effort so far on YouTube, dubious accolade as that may be.


Fine Gael went with a very different approach, reminiscent of recent virals which ask a number of people the same question. Unfortunately for them, their attempt is immeasurably more boring than the ones they were attempting to emulate.


Tony McLoughlin - Sligo/Leitrim

Tony's polished presentation is well-delivered and he made sure to keep 'er country with references to farming and shots of cattle and sheep. Good man Tony. You're off Father Noel's list!


Andrew Doyle - Wicklow/East Carlow

Andrew Doyle's effort is highly-produced and shows off the beauty of the Wicklow Carlow region, and he makes sure to mention the hot topic of rural crime to get the farming votes. Andrew and Tony seem to be playing from a similar hymn sheet - perhaps FG have some YouTube guidelines in place for candidates?


The Bad

Joan Burton - Dublin West

Joan Burton's foray into YouTube was shot on a mobile phone in the Labour Party head offices and features the quote "democracy is a great thing". It sure is, Joan, but this video isn't.


Michael Ellison - Dublin Mid West

While this video is not the worst, it's not good.

Ellison is promising to "do for politics what Conor McGregor did for the UFC" with bad sound in front of a pretty poor greenscreen. (Check out the edges of his beard - they're flickering).

Now, we're sure he means catch people's attention (and not start stealing Enda Kenny's belts at press conferences) but the strange fish-eye effect angle and the .. unusual... subtitles are not a great look.


The Ugly

Some candidates, while not using YouTube themselves, are appearing there thanks to supporters and fans creating video montages of varying quality.

YouTube user Duncan Smith uploaded the below video for Brendan Ryan, writing "a short video of day 1 of the campaign".

The video consists of shots of Ryan's posters with the hashtag #BackingBrendan and the captions 'Standing Up for Ireland', set to stock music in the background.

Fair play for effort and commitment to the candidate, but that's about where the positives end.