Monday, 21 February 2011

The People Say Yes - but do they tell stories?

Yes! To Fairer Votes have produced a new video, The People Say Yes, in which a number of voters explain why they are backing AV.

The video contains arguments, cases and slogans in favour of AV. But most of the people taking part do not tell stories, meaning that the overall impact is not as great as it might be.

The difference is that a story tells or recounts at least one event or incident. An effective story is clear, surprising, emotional and, most importantly, it's credible. If you don’t believe me, compare most of the contributions to this video with one from the ex-steelworker from Sheffield or, for that matter, Ralph’s story, an earlier, striking offering from the pro-AV forces.

Still, The People Say Yes hits a mark, by providing the campaign with a useful brand narrative. The people taking part are mostly young and they are all “ordinary” – that is, outside the political class. There are none of the usual suspects. So far, by contrast, the faces of the No campaign have been warhorses from past campaigns and previous governments, like John Prescott and Margaret Beckett. And the people in this video finish up by saying “yes” with a warmth and an enthusiasm that is noticeably missing from the other side.

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