Open Doors: The Sequel – All four versions of the second Lib Dem PPB of 2015

We brought you the first in the Open Doors series of broadcasts at the end of January. Here is the second in which Willie Rennie’s scarf tying doesn’t improve, Kirsty Williams speaks Welsh and there are lots of good reasons to vote Liberal Democrat with much more policy detail.

Feedback about lack of appropriate accents has clearly been listened to and they have slotted in different comments from each person to each version so you really do have to watch them all.

England

Scotland

Wales (English version)

Wales (Welsh version)

What did you think of the visual policy messaging? If you didn’t notice it, it might have been too subtle. Let us know in the comments.

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23 Comments

  • Stephen Hesketh 4th Mar '15 - 7:56pm

    Sorry, it was just another “Stronger economy, fairer society, opportunity for everyone, enabling everyone to get on in life, spend less than Labour, cut less than the Tories” broadcast – with some mental health care thrown in.

    I was genuinely left wondering if I was watching a true repeat of the last one.

    I’d love to see something distinctively Liberal instead of totally Centrist next time – but sadly I very much doubt it will be forthcoming.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

  • Heather Greaves 4th Mar '15 - 8:01pm

    Well, whatever the words, whatever the accents, no-one in our household could hear a word over the music. Waste of time, the whole thing.

  • The only one of these that is any good is the Welsh-language version. The confused babel of music and voices at the beginning of the other three is rather off-putting. I don’t personally find the “ordinary people standing in their doors” scenario very convincing, and while the number of interview clips is presumably intended to suggest widespread support, to me it just feels less focussed. One has to make a mental adjustment to accommodate each new voice, and the energy spent doing that detracts from listening to their message. The Welsh version at least focussed on a few people and gave each of them more time.

  • I also didn’t like the babble of voices at the start, and preferred the Welsh language one.

    I like the achievements being spelled out with the door numbers on the English one.

  • David Ellams 4th Mar '15 - 9:30pm

    What fascinates me is just how different the Wales (English) and Wales (Welsh) versions are. No open doors theme, and completely different policies highlighted (not just by the vox pops, but by the narrator). Does the party see Welsh speakers as having very different poltiics to English speakers in Wales?

  • Bristol again. Why not try a different city? And no dogs this time. Canines are always worth a vote or two. Why does the Scottish version feature Bristol, too? Take 500 lines, Mr Coetzee: “Bristol is not in Scotland.” And why Willie Rennie? No harm to Willie Rennie, but he is hardly the most forceful of personalities. Why not get Charles Kennedy to front it? And what about a bit of countryside and the odd Wessex accent or two, given our precarious situation in the West Country?

    If Team Clegg is so insistent on going on about the party’s achievements in “Coalition” rather than things authentically liberal, I suggest they make a lot more of the Pupil Premium, which has made a huge demonstrable difference to the life chances of children. The figures prove that to be the case.

    Give credit where it is due. Mr Clegg has done a great job covering his tie with a scarf and making himself sound vaguely human, a characteristic not that noticeable among politicians.

    A couple more points:

    (1) The focus on mental health is good as far as it goes. But it would have a far greater impact if it was followed through with something about tolerance towards minorities and not being enslaved by conformity.

    (2) The real evil of the SNP is not their taking the eye off the ball, as Willie puts it, it is their willingness to set people against each other on the basis of identity. That is what condemns them, and we need to be saying that very loudly indeed.

    Oh, and well-done Mr Coetzee for listening to my advice and putting the bird in!

  • Matt (Bristol) 4th Mar '15 - 10:32pm

    The England one was bland but worthy, but the emphasis on local campaigning felt like it had honesty and integrity; a quality we have been rubbished for lacking since roughly about 2010-2012.

    I wasn’t exactly dancing around the room, mind – and I’m not sure the campaign to save my local library (which was the phrase that stuck as there is just such a campaign in my immediate area) will sway voters as to their MP come the GE. Not much of the rest of the policy stuff nor the way it was put over wowed me (possible exception to mental health), but I don’t think this was intended as a ‘wow’ broadcast, just a setting out of the stall, pushing our methodology rather than our key aims.
    There was a sort of … gentleness … to it which I’ve seen in all the broadcasts we’ve produced so far this time. Not sure if that’s a quality we’re aiming for, but I felt it was there.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 4th Mar '15 - 10:41pm

    Well, I think Stephen Hesketh has got the point and he main message. I guess we aren’t the audience, though.

  • @Caron Lindsay

    Spot on – we really aren’t the audience for these ads. Most of us spend a fair chunk of the day either reading about or are active in politics. We know the messages, angles, issues etc. – but how well do the general public know them? We’re obsessives and need to recognise that factor.

  • You have one of the very few popular UK politicians in Charles Kennedy and you never seem to use him. Whoever is running your campaign is making a big mistake.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 5th Mar '15 - 8:40am

    Bravo for the Welsh version in Welsh. That is how to put the message across – split up the mantra into a logical and fresh way of stating it. The nation is already bored with constant unchanged repetition, however fine it might have seemed ages ago. IMHO this is the version which should be shown nationally – or something like it using local people. It is good thinking to NOT use the national leader as his version is by far the worst. One final point: it is likely that the versions come across best on laptops and phones. On Television a far more directional and highlighted approach is needed – to gain attention away from boiling the kettle for a cuppa. Does Party HQ know about these differences?

  • I too like the Welsh language version best.

  • Phil Rimmer 5th Mar '15 - 11:28am

    So, episode 2 of “Stronger economy, fairer society.” I am now convinced that the sole purpose of this election campaign is to drag what remains of our party even further to the right in the hope of saving the seats of Nick Clegg’s few remaining friends. Mental health provides our leader with a loin cloth of residual Liberalism.

    Time to ask Nick Clegg, “Is your objective to turn your party into a British version of the German FDP? Tiny, economical liberal, pro-business, pro-European, few Liberal principles but in with a chance of coalition government once in a while.”

  • Phil Rimmer
    You missed out that other key feature of the modern FDP — virtually nobody votes for them.

  • Here’s what happens when you follow the path of the FDP —
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_2013

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 5th Mar '15 - 12:19pm

    @Paul Walter: I am sure Willie could get his scarf to look neater. It’s scrappy as it is.

  • Stephen Hesketh 5th Mar '15 - 12:32pm

    @Caron Lindsay 4th Mar ’15 – 10:41pm and ATF 4th Mar ’15 – 11:21pm

    Totally agree – we are not the intended audience and yes, we are ‘anoraks’ but surely party members should be in broad agreement with, and more enthusiastic about, our broadcasts?

    I believe many people – particularly those more likely to vote Lib Dem – are more aware of marketing and political tactics these days and won’t like or fall for sloganistic messages being repeated ad infinitum.

    People who voted Lib Dem in the past did so because they wanted change – not to see bland Centrist managerialism.

    There are so many popular, genuinely Liberal, Common Ground issues out there – I just don’t know why we are not vigorously campaigning on them.

  • Stephen Hesketh 5th Mar '15 - 12:35pm

    Phil Rimmer5th Mar ’15 – 11:28am

    Phil – spot on!

  • I liked the variety of accents. Particularly noticed Welsh and Scots. However the only accent between Watford Gap and the Scottish Border was one from the North East of England. This is in fact the bulk of the England. Surely one gruff recognisably Northern accent could have been found. (Yorkshire , Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Lancashire, Merseyside?) I did like the simple emphasis on the major points – most people have not got that message yet, the numbers on the doors was an interesting and attention grabbing move I have to admit I did not notice a reference to mental health (mental block ?) Agree the music and muffled voices at start were not helpful – especially to older people (you know the ones that vote!)

  • Phil Rimmer 5th Mar '15 - 4:52pm

    @ Caron Lindsay
    Re: Willie’s scarf. Thanks to the influence of Christmas presents from my Leith born great aunt, I am convinced Willie’s objective, once you take that cheeky smile into account, isn’t a neat scarf. No, it’s Oor Wullie. However, for that, he needs dungarees and a tin bucket!

  • Steve Comer 6th Mar '15 - 11:05am

    Pretty insipid stuff here, what is the message, it seems to be “we won’t wreck the economy and overspend like Labour, and we’re not as nasty as those Tories.” Hardly a winning message.

    And did we learn no lesson from the Euro Campaign? Why is the only Lib Dem in the English PPB Nick Clegg?
    Why not Steve Webb talking about Pensions?
    Why not Vince Cable on Appreticeships?
    Why not David Laws talking about Schools? etc etc.
    I’m very concerned the Party is focussing too hard on the MP that has the greatest negative poll rating…..

    And John Tilley is spot on about the FDP. We are in danger of making the same mistake they did in thirty years ago by moving to the right and creating the space for the Green Party to establish themselves in.

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