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After the Reformist Bloc in Bulgaria Theodorakis too is inspired by an advertising video for Obama

20 May 2014 / 13:05:11  GRReporter
3891 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova


The news about the formation of the political "To Potami" movement announced by very popular Greek journalist Stavros Theodorakis was perceived as a fresh breeze by the majority of Greek voters. The experienced professional was able to attract the attention of the audience with original ideas such as the disclosure of the cost of each visit to the country, fresh photo reports and videos of them and even with his own style - Theodorakis still wears T-shirts under his sports jackets and a backpack as he did while making his reports.

Three months later, the party is preparing for its first participation in an election race and all polls show that it will be able to appoint its representatives in the European Parliament. On the first day of the week preceding the European elections, "To Potami" has provoked a flood of critical comments regarding its advertising videos.

Just like the Reformist Bloc in Bulgaria, the party has totally copied one of the advertising videos of the campaign of US President Barack Obama called "Your first time". In it, a young girl speaks about her "first time", initially creating the impression that she means her first sexual act. At the end of the video, it becomes clear that, actually, she will vote for the first time in her life and give her vote for "To Potami". The similarities of the Greek video with the US one are more than obvious.

The Greek version

The US original

Whether the American model of political agitation will result in favour of "To Potami" in Greece and of the Reformist Bloc in Bulgaria will become clear on Sunday. Now it is clear that in this part of the world parties either lack adequate communications consultants or do not have enough imagination and originality due to which they copy someone else’s ideas.

In a sharp comment on her Facebook account communications adviser Vivian Efthimopoulou writes, "The spots may be the work of directors, but they have nothing to do with cinema, where the director is often the author of the film. Each advertisement must contain a message strategy, which should not involve any of those carrying out the project because this is not their business. We are full of creative advertisements created by graphic designers with no strategic context. That is why we make so much fun of them."

"To Potami" presented a second similar video in which the main character is an elderly woman who says the following, "Of course, this is not my first time but I have not done it long ago. I do not remember how long ago but it's been many years since then." At the end of the video, she says that, after a long time, she has finally found someone to trust and she will vote for the newly created movement.

Both the videos however sparked reactions from another viewpoint. According to many commentators, they are sexist and offensive to women. The criticisms came not only from opponents of the movement but also from its MEP candidate. Periklis Valianos expressed his disapproval of the campaign of his own party commenting on the social networks, "I appeal for the immediate withdrawal of the vulgar and unacceptable advertising video entitled "My first time" and the second one that I find difficult to describe. These "advertisements" insult every woman with their perverse humour and, of course, they undermine and affect every value in the name of which "To Potami" was created. I personally apologize for these nuisances, although I have been totally unaware of them and I did not participate in them. However, this is not enough. The party leadership should come out and boldly and frankly denounce the shamelessness of these "advertisements" and apologize to every woman, I would say to every person in general, for offending them so rudely."

The other comments range from moderate, "The advertisements are particularly challenging for a political party. The success of Stavros Theodorakis lies in his ability to handle pictures and feelings in a good manner. His weakness is that he mixes different opinions and the original political spaces of the participants in the movement. His contribution is that he returns sanity in the public political debate. If the centre-right space finds response to the emergence of "To Potami" Greece will open a new page in its history forever. I'm curious to hear the comments on the spots," to extremely negative, "I believed that people were not so stupid. But no, there is no escape. Potamis (a word play with the name of the movement and Theodorakis - author’s note) will enter the European Parliament; I am already convinced of this. It is enough to see the election rates of Moralis, Beos, Psinakis, Pahtas and Kasidiaris. I do not want to hear any hooligan or pious woman complaining here about the situation in the country because I will slap him/her."

On the other hand, supporters of the movement believe that the spots are in the right direction, "The fact that you have been so offensive to the spots of "To Potami" since early morning and that they have become the topic of the day shows how successful they are. If some people "wake up" and examine the code of communication with the 18-25 age group we could discuss the issue. In general, I would say that on Sunday many (parties - author’s note) will cry."

Tags: PoliticsEuropean electionsTo PotamiStavros TheodorakisPre-election campaignAdvertising spotBarack ObamaReformist BlocAreti Georgilis
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