“Today I’m being born”: European Parliament’s election video gains over 100 million views online

, by Juuso Järviniemi

“Today I'm being born”: European Parliament's election video gains over 100 million views online

Two weeks before the European elections, the European Parliament’s official This Time I’m Voting campaign is entering its last strokes. The flagship campaign video, called Choose Your Future, has become an exceptionally successful piece of EU communication in terms of viewership. As of now, the video has gained over 83 million views on Facebook, and another 33 million on YouTube.

“Today I’m being born. Choose the Europe you want me to grow up in”, a child’s voice says on the emotional three-minute film featuring genuine childbirth scenes. Rather than going for humour or fact, the Parliament’s strategy is to hit viewers in the heart. Judging by the viewer figures, and the 300,000 reactions and nearly 100,000 shares on Facebook, it has been a success.

Since the launch in summer 2018, more than 300,000 people have also signed up to contribute to the campaign. The participants are invited to do challenges such as sharing a link to the campaign on their social media, and arranging a face-to-face election-themed activity. In its newsletter to campaign participants, the Parliament tells about celebrities like the singer Andrea Bocelli voicing their support for the campaign, and about events like the Finnish high school students’ This Time I’m Voting march.

Official institutional communication is a delicate task ahead of elections. In the relative absence of European-wide media, the European Parliament has to take up an unusually strong role in promoting the elections, as compared to national parliaments in national elections. So far, the 2019 campaign seems to have lived up to the task.

The voter turnout in the 2014 elections was 42.54 percent. In two and a half weeks, we will see whether the successful online campaign helps to bring the turnout back upwards.

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