The European Political Week in #60secs was a weekly show we produced for the Wilfried Martens Centre of European Studies from 2015 to 2020. More than 200 episodes were published on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, with over 10 million views.
The show was hosted by Roland Freudenstein, Policy Director of the Martens Centre.
The series was put on hold at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and replaced by the remotely recorded Week in 7 Questions format.
Leading political think-tank redefines digital advocacy
The Martens Centre is one of Europe’s leading centres of political thought. It is the official think tank of the European People’s Party (EPP). The main goals of the Martens Centre are to shape European public opinion, influence and impact policy through concrete policy proposals, and be the key platform of cooperation for centre-right partners and experts.
Our collaboration with the Martens Centre started back in 2015 when the idea that in times of digital transformation, every organisation or company should be an independent content publisher was not so obvious. Looking back, it’s fair to say we were lucky to have found a client who had the courage to experiment and take a pretty innovative approach to political communication. Over the years, we have launched several different multimedia formats for the Martens Centre, such as interviews, political commentaries and podcasts. Today the Martens Centre is the absolute leader in the quality and number of published multimedia formats. We covered this more fully in a separate case study.
Political satire coming from a think tank
Political satire is a genre that comedians do well in. When it comes to official political messaging, there are many factors one must consider. You could say that this is a kind of minefield for the scriptwriter. Often finding the balance between obvious jokes and political correctness is not easy.
In the case of European Political Week in 60 seconds, through close cooperation between our team and the client’s research and communications team, we succeeded in developing a tone of voice that can now be used as a benchmark for similar productions. We have found a formula that, on the one hand, names things by name and, on the other, manages to avoid threads that could prove problematic.
Utilising jokes for real impact
Over the years, the programme has touched on many important issues in Europe’s political, social and economic life. Frequent stars in the episodes were European leaders such as Angela Merkel, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Ursula von der Leyen, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron but also world leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
New episodes were broadcast each Friday. Each episode aimed to summarise the most important events of the past week. The presenter, Roland Freudenstein, often pointed out the absurdity or nonsense of specific political projects, actions or narratives. The satirical formula of the show allowed for far stronger pointing and specific direct arguments than the typical correctness in political expert debate.