Nick Clegg's team spent nearly £8,000 on a music video starring Nick Clegg, set to Carly Rae Jepsen's 'I really like you'. It was kept secret until today.
The music video starring the then deputy prime minister was made just before the 2015 general election. It was never released to the public and all involved were sworn to secrecy, but the Times newspaper has acquired footage that shows the film being made.
In the Carly Rae Jepsen version, actor Tom Hanks walks the streets of Manhattan, New York, meeting, greeting and high-fiving passers-by. In the Clegg shot-for-shot remake, the then deputy prime minister also meets, greets and high-fives... but in Gravesend, Kent.
The mock music video was intended to "go viral".
Showing that Clegg was "fun" (as if his confession on Desert Islands Discs about smoking hadn't already locked down the "fun" demographic) was the sole purpose of the music video. It contained no reference to Liberal Democrat policies, and Clegg reportedly missed Danny Alexander's "alternative budget" in order to film on location.
Liberal Democrat campaigns in key seats, struggling for resources, will no doubt be less than pleased to discover that £7,800 (after VAT) of their election expenses were spent on the video. Clegg was similarly displeased. At the end of the filming, The Times quotes Clegg as saying "Why the f** did I do that?".
The video was repressed and the Liberal Democrats went on to lose 49 seats at the general election. Maybe it could have rescued their party... but probably not.
The idea of making Clegg "go viral" was potentially based on the success of the earlier autotune remix of Clegg's apology regarding tuition fees. Since its release in 2012 the video, created by satirical website The Poke, has garnered more than 3 million views on YouTube.
With public demand for the video's release growing, a Lib Dem spokesperson told indy100: