A political ad with a difference from the EU: It doesn't tell us how to vote!

A political ad with a difference from the EU: It doesn't tell us how to vote!

The Background

With the European elections on the horizon, the European Parliament has released this three-minute film. 

It’s a political ad with a difference. 

It doesn’t aim to tell us who to vote for, rather it asks us all as Europeans to reflect on why we vote and to urge us all to take part.

What They Did

The film was created by Danish agency &Co NoA Copenhagen and directed by Frederic Planchon. It was filmed in four countries and features the actual birth of children who will inherit the decisions made in the elections. 

An 11-year-old Danish girl delivers the voice over, a poignant script written from the perspective of a newborn child imagining what type of world awaits us and ultimately reminding us why we vote. 

In her words: “Each of us can leave a mark, but together we can make a real difference. Choose the Europe you want me to grow up in”.

The Review

Given the subject matter this film will be inevitably divide opinions. Some I’m sure will be immune and cynical about its use of emotion to achieve its aims and will dismiss it as propaganda. A quick read through of comments on YouTube confirm this. But for anyone at all sympathetic with the European cause I think it is mostly effective.

The premise of writing the script from the perspective of a newborn baby is a smart one. 

It reminds us that they are the people most affected by the decisions we make. It sends a message of hope that chimes perfectly with the sensitively and beautifully filmed footage of real families bringing newborn babies into the world.

It isn’t perfect. 

I found it a little too long. The music is lovely, but I would have liked to have had some sync sound to add even more realism and puncture any commercial sheen. The script is well written and delivered, but I could at times sense the hand of the agency copywriters with language that felt a little too adult and earnest for the narrator.  

Overall I was won over by the central premise and ambition that Europeans need to stand together to deliver a better future for our children and grandchildren in this uncertain world. 

I showed the film to my 14-year-old daughter who loved it and felt it echoed many of her feelings. Her reaction reminded me that young people will have to face the consequences of a decision they did not take.

As author Michael Morpugo said: “They hope for a future in Europe, to create a world of peace and reconciliation, to tread ever more softly on our planet. It will be their world. Let’s listen to them, follow them.”

In Hindsight

Like most people, I’m weary of the whole subject and before watching this may have not seen the point of voting in elections for something we will probably not be a part of. 

But now I’m reminded that any vote sends a message about what we believe in and I owe it to my kids (and others) to cast mine.

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