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Daddy, Do You Hate Me?

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If you were facing a loathsome Tory such as Theresa May and you had the great leftist filmmaker Ken Loach at your disposal, wouldn’t you use him? This is amazing.

I’m a huge Loach fan, even though his career is super inconsistent. As someone who loves agitprop in a completely non-ironic way, films like Land and Freedom and Carla’s Song are very enjoyable to me. The Wind That Shakes the Barley is epic. And probably his best films are his depictions of the down and out late 20th century British working class, most notably Sweet Sixteen. His later films have been pretty schmaltzly, but whatever. Looking for Eric was pretty OK.

Anyway, talk about an ad that pulls no punches.

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  • polyorchnid octopunch

    Needs the Coen Brothers to do an American South version of that ad.

  • Dr. Acula

    Holy shit, that’s amazing.

  • keta

    Meh. The ad’s not that good to my mind. The punch line is confusing:

    daughter: Why did you get all that stuff and I don’t?

    Dad: Because I voted for Theresa May.

    So Dad got all that stuff because he voted for Theresa May? Oh! She doesn’t get that stuff because he voted for Theresa May. Punchlines should be just that – a direct hit that needs no mulling over. This isn’t that.

    Then, the “obviously” to her query, “Dad, do you hate me” is delivered all wrong. It would have more impact deadpan, rather than with a big shit-eating smile.

    The slate immediately after this is confusing as hell. The biggest letters, highlighted, tell you to “Vote for Theresa May,” and the real message, “Because your children deserve worse” is less prominent.

    Finally, the music bed is far too pastoral.

    Sorry, but this ad kinda’ sucks, frankly.

    • Chet Manly

      “So Dad got all that stuff because he voted for Theresa May? Oh! She doesn’t get that stuff because he voted for Theresa May. Punchlines should be just that – a direct hit that needs no mulling over. This isn’t that.”

      This is a direct hit that needs no mulling over for any viewer in the UK. Brexit/immigration and the Tories pursuing austerity measures and insisting on cuts to domestic programs like the NHS and education have been the the two core issues that UK liberals and conservatives have been debating since 2008.

      UK liberals have been arguing for years that older conservatives are essentially funding low taxes for corporations and the upper classes in large part by cuts to educational programs they themselves benefited from, so any UK voter would know immediately what’s up in this ad. Also, it ends with a red splash screen, so it’s clearly a Labour ad.

      • keta

        Thanks for the notes. I’m sure the makers of the ad know their audience a whole lot better than I do. That said, the ad is still pretty poor to my eyes. (But then, I’m not the target.)

    • LFC

      Finally, the music bed is far too pastoral

      The best thing about the “music bed” in this ad is that it is unobtrusive and it doesn’t distract the viewers’ attention from what the people are saying.

      This contrasts with the loud, hideous, jangling, disgusting “music beds” in many U.S. political ads, which don’t qualify as music at all but rather as mindless, distracting, annoying noise (something that sort of goes like deedle-deedle-deedle-deedle, over and over and over and over), and are so awful, repetitive, repulsive, and impossible to listen to that one wonders why candidates and independent groups continue to pay money to the idiot ad consultants who produce this garbage.

      It’s one thing to be often blasted from the ceiling with disgusting muzak when one goes into, say, a drug store; one expects that. But to have it be the “music bed” in a political ad is self-defeating and ridiculous. Why candidates pay for them is beyond me.

      The best political ad probably would have, for most of its length, no “music bed” at all — none, zero — so the viewer’s attention would be given entirely to what is being said and the images being shown. Then at the very end there could be some music as the last images are shown. But in general music is way overused in political ads, esp in the U.S., and I can’t imagine that it’s effective. Consultants and marketers seem to think people want to hear music or muzak everywhere: in stores, in elevators, in restaurants, everywhere. They don’t. People want to be left in peace so they can think. If marketers ever asked, which they never do, they would probably discover that’s the case.

      • John Revolta

        People want to be left in peace so they can think.

        Ooooo. I…………………….dunno.

        Check the Nielsen ratings some time. For starters.

      • keta

        First, the term music bed is common in the industry for the piece of music in the background of a video. Your “italics” doesn’t change this.

        Second, proper use of music and other aural clues can greatly enhance most any video. They can help convey things on a level other than visual or spoken, as well as quickly set tone.

        Finally, I completely agree that the use of music and other sound fx is often really, really shitty. But this still doesn’t change the fact that used well music can be a powerful and useful element in video production.

      • I think of lot of restaurants play loud music to boost turnover. That way you won’t hang around after you get done eating and they can seat someone else at that table.

        One of my big pet peeves. Restaurants in Europe generally don’t to that.

        • Redwood Rhiadra

          I think you (and LFC) are wrong. I see a lot of restaurants that are basically never more than half full; they still play music.

          Further, your typical store *doesn’t* want you to leave as fast as possible – the longer you stay, the more likely you’ll buy something or buy more than you originally planned. And yet they, too, play music. And it does not seem to drive people to do their shopping and leave as quickly as possible, as you claim it should.

          The reason stores and restaurants play music is that most Americans love *listening* to music. Everywhere. That’s why they are constantly listening to car radios, MP3 players, Walkmans in an earlier era, why cable channels full of nothing but music (MTV, VH1, CMT, etc.) are so successful, etc. (I hear MTV doesn’t actually play much music now, but it originally did.)

          Stores and restaurants are just catering to a very common desire.

          • Origami Isopod

            The reason stores and restaurants play music is that most Americans love *listening* to music. Everywhere.

            Yes, this.

            A lot of people seem to not know what to do with themselves when things are quiet.

    • EliHawk

      Labour’s message: “Tuition fees are too expensive! We need to eliminate them!”

      Labour’s ad: “Under the Tory Government, I got a nice, cheap university education, which is how I can afford this ginormous house.”

  • Efed Up

    Still they don’t believe me.

  • Richard Gadsden
    • Efed Up

      How can they hear me say those words,

      • We aren’t going to relitigate the primary in this thread.

        • Efed Up

          And still they don’t believe me?

          • No, this thread isn’t going to be about how Hillary sucks either.

            • Efed Up

              How can they look into my eyes

              • randomworker

                /yawn.

              • Knock it off if you want to stick around

                • Efed Up

                  And if they don’t believe me now
                  Will they ever believe me?

                • Gone.

                • Joseph Slater

                  Merci.

                • Troll Comment Deleted

                  Troll Comment Deleted

                • King Goat

                  “Everything I said had to do with the UK Elections.”

                  Come on, you said “Oh, btw” to introduce a separate topic.

                  You asked for it.

                • random

                  I didn’t read this until after his comments had been altered, so I thought you guys were doing a bit.

                  I see that instead I missed something stupid. Thank you for just erasing whatever that dipshit wrote and sparing my eyes. I use the pie filter a lot too.

                  In conclusion, Ken Loach is a good director.

              • King Goat

                Dude, this is about the UK elections. You’re threadjacking.

                • Efed Up

                  Behind the hatred there lies,

                • King Goat

                  In what specific way? I’ve argued Clinton was a bad choice because of things that attached to her personally. But platform wise, and what she talked about, was the most left policy positions a Democratic candidate has put forward in long time, maybe ever.

                • Troll Comment Deleted

                • Dennis Orphen

                  You would really be up the junction if you could and did.

            • Docrailgun

              It shoukd be about Bernie saving the Free World.

          • brad

            We get it. You blame Hillary, for whatever negative thing there is whut exists. No one cares.

            • Efed Up

              A murderous desire, for love.

              • brad

                Me, I’ll never forgive that neoliberal traitor Sgt Shriver. Let’s have priorities, boy.

                The people who care aren’t here. Maybe you should look elsewhere.

                • Efed Up

                  The boy with the thorn in his side.

                • brad

                  You know, you just gave me a hell of a business idea.

                  A 1-900 number for jagoffs like you where zealous, and breathy, Clinton voters answer the phone and your arguments slowly reduce them to teary apologies in which they beg your forgiveness and promise to always ask you what to do in the future.
                  How many bucks a minute can you afford?

                • Joseph Slater

                  This is my favorite reply. Well, after the one announcing the ban. But very well done.

                • brad

                  and after all this time, still they won’t believe me

                  Had to get it out so as to not develop an earworm.

    • Joe_JP

      Chris Hayes retweeted that ad. Pretty powerful.

      Wanted to focus on the ad since the thread went somewhere else.

    • Dr. Acula

      That reminded me a little of an ad Joss Whedon did before the US election last year. HIs featured celebrities, though.

  • EliHawk

    I’m sorry, that ad is terrible and smug as can be. It preaches entirely to the converted, and is silent on things like Brexit and the NHS that matter to voters. The anti-austerity red meat are ripped right from 2011. It doesn’t speak to anyone who doesn’t already think Theresa May and the Tories are evil. There’s no argument, and no real figures. It’s main argument is “Spend more money” coming from a party not trusted with the public purse. Hell, the people in it are looking pretty well off: 20 years of Tory government gave them a nice, fancy house. It’s thirteen years in the future, so it’s not immediate: If I’m a reluctant Tory, I can tell myself that we have plenty of time to hold them accountable on that stuff.

    Honestly, in terms of “Vote Tory, get a dystopian future” it’s nowhere near as good as what New Labour put out in 1997: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg1iWQQwoGg

    That one is specific, talking about the ‘next five years,’ talking about policies the Tories have done to harm people, and promises they’ve broken. It shows not just the crowded, broken, classrooms, but also hits them on the busted NHS, crime ridden streets, and poorer families because of higher Tory taxes on the working and middle classes. It has Pete Postlethwaite as a guardian angel taxi driver!

    • Spider-Dan

      It preaches entirely to the converted, and is silent on things like Brexit and the NHS that matter to voters.

      Given that the voters are the ones who passed Brexit, that seems a particularly strange accusation to hurl.

      • EliHawk

        …? Voters voted for Brexit, but it’s still a key issue (What will it look like? Hard Brexit or Soft? Freedom of Movement or No? Single Market or No?). It makes sense to speak on it. This is just the same old “Did you know the Tory Prime Minister is a Tory?” ad that doesn’t actually define her all that negatively.

        • twbb

          “What will it look like? Hard Brexit or Soft?”

          That’s just adorable that you think Britain gets to decide that issue.

          • Matt Heath

            eh. If the UK government after the election said the to EU negotiators “We will follow every rule the EU makes without any say in those rules, like Norway does, which is obviously worse than staying but better than any other option”, I’m pretty sure the EU would say “erm..OK, we guess? You’re country is fucking weird, btw”. And crashing out onto WTO rules is an option that the UK can choose regardless of the EU’s position.

            So we do get to decide hard or soft, it’s “red, white and blue Brexit” that is straight up bollocks.

            • twbb

              The sticking point will be “and we keep all the benefits except for having no say in the rules.”

      • Troll Comment Deleted

    • Ronan

      I disagree. I agree the Brits absolutely voted austerity with Cameron et al, but today is not 2010, and the psychological justifications for austerity 7 years ago are not as relevant today. Bear in mind May is selling herself as a one nation Tory, not a neocon, and part of that(rhetorically) is a ‘fair deal for all'(and all that bullshit)
      So I think this stuff hurts her, particularly with older Labour(maybe UKIP) supporters who might flip.

      eta: i dont think the ads good, but the message might be.

      • EliHawk

        I think you could have a decent message in there somewhere, but you have to work to frame it. One of the big problems here is that it takes the message as a given, not something you have to convince anyone of. (It’s one of the problems of the anti-austerity movement in general; they just assume “Austerity bad. Everyone knows this. Denounce austerity.” and you win the argument.) One thing Brown and Blair did from 95-2008 or so was frame investment in public services as a good thing vs. Tory cuts. This one doesn’t bother with the framing much at all, show the impact of things, etc. I don’t think it speaks to working class voters how may have gone Labour=>UKIP=>Tory, because that’s not a working class family in a working class house. It’s comfortably middle, if not upper class, all the way. You compare it with the family in the ’97 ad, complete with dystopian household of doom (because of Tory VAT on every little thing) and it’s night and day.

        I mean, it’s actually almost a pro-austerity ad! See, Theresa May gave the dad all this nice stuff, and now the country’s broke, and there’s nothing for the daughter. It’s almost arguing she’s too spendthrift, not too miserly. That’s how shit the messaging is.

        • Ronan

          I hadnt watched Erik’s clip as Id assumed it was the one posted above by Richard Gadsden (Which I think is a better message)
          I agree with you though that the ad in the OP (that’s why I put in the ETA. i only watched it after replying to you!) doesnt do the job.

        • Ronan

          “I don’t think it speaks to working class voters how may have gone Labour=>UKIP=>Tory, because that’s not a working class family in a working class house. It’s comfortably middle, if not upper class, all the way. ”

          I agree(about this ad) This is also my problem with the whole ‘no uni fees’ message (it really isnt all that progressive or, I think, going to appeal to many)

        • twbb

          “One of the big problems here is that it takes the message as a given, not something you have to convince anyone of.”

          I don’t know much about UK politics, but I know in the US the Democrats are constantly undermining themselves precisely because they try to convince people of something.

          “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

          • EliHawk

            It’s not about explaining, but persuading. This ad doesn’t bother with it. And doesn’t provide any real frame to get the point across or define the opponent beyond “She’s a Tory, and they’re bad.”

            • twbb

              Persuading IS explaining. Political campaigning is, unfortunately, playing to emotion. So yes, Tories are bad. You don’t want to vote for a bad person. Finis.

    • patrick II

      It’s a 1:00 minute ad, saying what it doesn’t do is fairly useless criticism. The question is whether its effectively driving the point it’s taking aim at. I would say yes, but feel free to disagree.

  • King Goat

    I look at this ad and think, yeah, why is this complicated, who votes to deny themselves and their children these obvious goods? And then I think, oh right, they’re voting to deny it to other people and their kids (preferably darker skinned), and the fact that them and theirs will be denied as well doesn’t overcome that. And it’s depressing…

  • JDM

    And all I could say was ‘Ouch’.

  • Dilan Esper

    I loved Land And Freedom. If anyone here hasn’t seen it, do.

  • Denverite

    Well, at least I know what a micropeen looks like now.

    • Ronan

      I’ll admit it, I clicked through aswell.

  • awarrens

    I’m kinda confused. Like, this is…fine? Like the British version of an ad that could have easily come from any random modern Democratic candidate. What am I missing here?

    (And what kind of kid takes pictures of their school lunch and holds on to a hard copy of it for twenty years to just kinda show it in passing to their kids…?)

  • daves09

    It’s called the willing suspension of disbelief-you could look it up on the internet.

  • N__B

    Maybe daddy hates her because she’s objectively despicable.

    I’m just brain-storming here…

    • BiloSagdiyev

      Well, she is a taker. Doesn’t pay taxes or work hard for a living. Maybe May can make the coal jobs come back there, too.

  • AMK

    They live in a huge house and the dad is dressed like he’s going to a polo match–they don’t seem to be struggling.

    • Souris Grise

      They’re not. And thus precisely the people who would vote for May and cuts. Or at least who mythical average voter thinks would vote for her. Yeah. It doesn’t sync with daughter suffering the consequences of those cuts (although I guess I could argue Dad is so evil …).

      I have no idea if the ad will prove persuasive. I know many who rely on school lunches served in grossly underfunded schools who support cuts to everything. Then again, I know benefits recipients whose favourite conversation involves “all those benefit cheats, frauds, and scroungers.”

      • twbb

        “They’re not. And thus precisely the people who would vote for May and cuts”

        Shouldn’t ads be aimed at the people who weren’t otherwise going to vote for you?

    • sigaba

      Actors in ads aren’t chosen to look like the audience, they’re chosen to look like how the audience sees themselves and what they aspire to.

      This is why ads for Viagra feature affluent people who travel and have healthy romantic lives. This is also why 30-year-olds can play high school students.

      • twbb

        Good point.

  • Lasker

    The Momentum ad is fun.

    The Ken Loach ad – with the Douglass quote – is amazing. It isn’t so much that it’s a good ad – I don’t feel qualified to say how effective it might be. I watched it with the sound off on the subway and overflowed with joy, but when I rewatched it with sound it seemed little bit less effective.

    But that a major party candidate could WANT to run that ad – this is encouraging.
    Bernie was/is milquetoast by comparison.

    • The Ken Loach ad definitely made me think “this is not Tony Blair’s Labour Party anymore.” I have no idea if it’s effective with anyone who isn’t already a socialist, but I enjoyed seeing it.

      • Gareth

        How do you feel about the girl inheriting the house?

  • Snuff curry

    (Putting in a word for Ladybird, Ladybird.)

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