Comedy //

12 tips for your Union Board campaign video

Naaman Zhou and Mary Ward have ruined their ‘Recommended Videos’ tab

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 2.49.36 pm

Tonight, nine young and keen USU enthusiasts will launch their social media campaigns for May 18’s student board elections. When the clock strikes 12, they will enter a rich historical tapestry of Facebook self-promotion.

But amongst the profile picture changes and the “vote #1” events, the most difficult element of all campaign digicon is undeniably the campaign video. Some say the campaign video maketh the candidate, others say they will only be watched by your campaigners and your mum.

We watched every publicly available candidate video from the past decade, and before we skewered our eyes out with toothpicks, we wrote this listicle.  

1. Don’t give your audience vertigo


Sophie Stanton – Sophresh (2012)

The thing about words is, people need to be able to read them. The text in this video rotates so much it’s enough to propel your meatbox up and out of your large intestine. Remember: there’s no polling booth in the Wentworth bathrooms.

2. Appeal to the common student

Jordan Smith – Jordy Sure (2013)

Pouring a bottle of champagne on your fellow struggling student doesn’t make you look super down to earth.

3. Get the right celebrity endorsement

Mina Nada – Better, Faster, Stronger (2011)

The year was 2011, Cadel Evans won the Tour de France, humble millionaire’s daughter Kate Middleton had a rags-to-riches ascent to royalty, and a Western Sydney kid calling himself ‘Superwog’ achieved Youtube stardom and possibly a breakfast TV appearance.

One of these people decided to endorse 2011 Union Board candidate Mina Nada.

With talk of garlic sauce and Unibros, and a great sledge on whatever the hell that weird glass thing poking out of the Law Lawns is, Mina’s celebrity endorsement racked up 20,000 views and saw him elected. The most powerful three word slogan in politics: “What a head.”

4. For fuck’s sake don’t film in vertical, you idiot


Nick Coffman – The Coff (2012)

Why the fuck would you go to the effort of a one-shot take, multiple scenery changes and superimposing a coffee cup over a man’s hand… only to film this video on an incorrectly orientated iPhone?

5. Be hot

Vale Sloane – You’ve Got Vale (2012)

Vale Sloane is the most attractive man to have ever run for Union Board. Fact. Scientifically proven fact. This video actually just could have been a screenshot of his face. But, he’s better than that. Like Leonardo DiCaprio going after his Oscar, Sloane knew he needed more than just a soppy rom-dram with Winslet to take this one home. Great content. Great bone structure.

6. Jazz up a video you made on powerpoint with great music

James Flynn – In With Flynn (2010)

This is literally the music they play at the end of each episode of America’s Next Top Model and The Biggest Loser. We’ve never been so inspired to vote for Flynn in USU turn our lives around, prove ourselves in front of the judges, and win back our ex-husband.

7. Know your lyrics

Hannah Morris – Get Hans On (2012)

Lots of great campaign videos feature a sneaky rewrite of a classic banger. But, if you’re going to go to the effort of rewriting a late ‘90s girl group classic, superimposing those new lyrics on a screen, and making five of your friends dance behind the monstrosity you’ve created, at least remember your lyrics. Particularly when the lyric is “vote for me”.

8. ‘Durka durka’ can be used to fill any missed beats


Alex Houseman – Union Revolution (2008)

“My name is Alex Houseman/

A Union Revolution/

Gettin’ rid of all the bureaucratic pollution/

[Unexplained Rastafarian voice] It’s clouding student vision/

Inhibiting your volition”

So begins the greatest rap stupol has ever seen. You might think that “Alex Houseman” doesn’t rhyme with the name of any great Socialist thinker, but you are wrong.

Witness the verbal gymnastics and destruction of scansion that this man can wreak.

9. Use Eve Radunz’s dog

Eve Radunz – An EVEn Better Union (2013)

Kate Bullen – ELECTROKATE Your Union (2014)

NLS did really well in 2013 running a candidate on dark purple with a sausage dog. Thank goodness that candidate had another housemate who could lay claim to the same dog. Bronson – the faceless canine man of National Labor Students – has a 100 per cent success rate in the USU elections, a claim no other campus pet can touch.

He played a prominent role in Radunz’s 2013 video and, if you skip to 0:27, you’ll notice this campus heavyweight sneaks an appearance into Bullen’s 2014 clip. Always working the numbers. Mark Arbib eat your heart out.

10. Accept that only hacks vote and tailor your video accordingly

Bebe D’Souza – Bebe on Board (2013)

What is this glitched-out fever dream? An excerpt from a hack diary run through a vocoder? Have the machines finally risen, become sentient and started to mock our elections? No, this is something worse. The inner monologue of every shirted dickhead given terrifying, uncanny life. Bebe, you looked into our souls and put them on display.

11. Don’t feel constrained by any notion of linear narrative or reasonable policy

Tom Lee – It’s Time for Tom (2009)

A campus “walking crisis.” Sandwiches. Duke of Ed. From the Michael Moore-esque opening involving an infiltration of the “Hol-m” building, to a Top Gear-style review of his proposed campus rickshaw program, Tom Lee’s video hits all the bases, including the ones you never thought possible… or reasonable… or electable.

12. Spell ACCESS correctly

Georg Tamm – Bam for Tamm (2013)

Where do we begin?

At 0:00 the music kicks in, sounding like a Ukrainian Eurovision entry that came 18th in 2006.

At 0:18 Georg appears via Skype from Taste, his pixelated image making an incredible case for upgrading Uni wifi.

At 1:23 the volume of the music increases by 100 per cent for no apparent reason.

At 1:36 Katherine Cooper wishes she’d replied to that email.

Just. Watch. It.

~**Mary and Naamo’s TOP TWO of the past decade**~

To cleanse your palate, this is a what a USU candidate video can be.

Lamisse Hamouda – Release Lamisse (2015)


Jeremy Elphick – Pelphick Thrust (2013)