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National’s campaign video and Eminem

Written By: - Date published: 1:01 pm, August 20th, 2014 - 68 comments
Categories: election 2014, john key, national, same old national - Tags:

National may have struck a problem with their campaign video.  The soundtrack sounds suspiciously like Eminem’s song “Lose yourself” which was the lead song in the movie 8 Mile.

National has had this problem in the past.  In 2007 a DVD was created about John Key which had a song which sounded like Coldplay’s Clocks.  After a complaint the DVD was withdrawn.

Maybe National has learned and did get the Artist’s approval to use the song this time.  Even if it did you have to wonder at the choice of song.  You see it is all about a rapper who is ready to publicly perform and who chokes, a bit like National seems to be doing now.

Here are some of the lyrics:

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop bombs,
But he keeps on forgetting what he wrote down,
The whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out
He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now
The clock’s run out, time’s up, over, bloah!

Perhaps this is how John Key feels every time that Dirty Politics is raised …

Anyway here is a video of Lose Yourself:

And here is National’s campaign video:

68 comments on “National’s campaign video and Eminem”

  1. hoom 1

    Fascinating symbology on several levels in that choice.

    Perhaps per http://thestandard.org.nz/dirty-politics-roundup/ they would do better with Les Mis sounding tracks…

  2. Tracey 2

    They wouldnt choose a song called “Lose yourself”?

    • jaymam 2.1

      OK, which one of you chose the music? You know perfectly well that the Nats are tone deaf and don’t listen to Eminem anyway and wouldn’t know the title of the song. “Lose yourself”! That’s a bit obvious. You won’t get away with this again.

    • Thinker 2.2

      Possibly the person who keeps track of the ‘real’ political polls…

  3. infused 3

    It’s not the song, otherwise youtube would have blocked it straight away.

    It’s an altered version, which actually gets around the issue. The mistake previously was putting it on a DVD.

    • framu 3.1

      its really one for the lawyers

      if you listen to the first chord change on the opening guitar riff the nats one goes down where eminem’s goes up

      very slight stuff – but it usually is all it takes to get round such legalities

      Its a rip off – but most likely a legal one

      • Enough is Enough 3.1.1

        If they purchased the music under licence (as the fat bald conductor has claimed) they should be fine.

        Any decent lawyer will include an indemnity against infringement of third party ip rights.

        I am guessing the Nats will have petty good lawyers with an address on Shortland street.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      I’d say that it sounds enough alike to say that National have been plagiarizing – again.

  4. yeshe 4

    Key is so bad at reading from the autocue it makes him look even more shifty than usual … and that’s hard to do !

    And I read somewhere this morning they are pushing a ‘blue’ economy.

  5. Not a PS Staffer 5

    Yes it is a direct rip off.
    I listened to Eminem from 30 seconds for 30 seconds. Then listened to the National Party 30 second ad! It is a direct match.

    Eminem’s publishers, Eight Mile Style LLC, are a litigous lot too. This gets better!

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2013/05/21/shady-dealings-eminem-publisher-sues-facebook/

    • dv 6.1

      From the stuff article apparently they have bought the rights
      “National Party campaign manager Steven Joyce said the music had been bought and licensed through an Australian-based organisation which had full rights to it.

      Interesting turn of phrase Australian based organisation!!!

      Why not just name it?

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Perhaps the name of the company has a bit of a problem

        Crosby Textor perhaps?

        • hoom 6.1.1.1

          Exactly the name that popped into my head lol.

          • Bob 6.1.1.2.1

            Yip, they are widely used in the advertising world, it is no different to the tracks used on The Block NZ last season which were all similar sounding tracks to chart hits without having to pay the huge licensing fees.
            National TVC sound tracks….focussing on the issues that matter to NZ’ers, or maybe it is the fact that the ad strikes a chord (excuse the pun) so the left are panicking already!

  6. Bill 7

    Given it’s altered somewhat, maybe we could say that Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is renamed as Key’s/ National’s “Getting Lost”?

    Apt that National’s version is slower….kinda plods along in comparison. Also apt that (arguably) both Eminem and Key/National have lost their gloss and are now widely seen as has-beens?

  7. shorts 8

    Its a “soundalike”

    “Sound-alikes are usually made as budget copies or “knockoffs” of popular recordings. The cost of writing and recording a new song that sounds similar to a popular song is usually negligible compared to the cost of royalties for playing the original recording or the licensing fees to record a cover version. If the sound-alike recording is dissimilar enough to avoid infringing the original writer’s copyright, the user of a sound-alike can evoke the spirit of a song, or sometimes make listeners believe that the work being played has been recorded by a particular artist, without the expense of engaging a highly paid artist.” wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound-alike

    while legal its a pretty shitty practice – worse in this case they couldn’t even use a NZ firm or composer to do the knock off – always the aussies eh national

    I guess this was all done via their ad agency with little national input

    I hope the opposition parties can keep it kiwi (ie pay a local musician some money)

    • just saying 8.1

      Finding ways of breaching copyright = theft.
      Now where have I heard that before?

      • shorts 8.1.1

        not so much breaching, more legally getting around. I’d suggest its seriously unethical, given the music is then virtually always used for solely commercial purposes…

        I’ve seen a few people tweeting the ad to Eminem’s official twitter – will be interesting to see if his camp responds, even if legal there is the chance his camp or himself will take offence and say so, he’s not adverse to telling it as he see’s it… to put it very mildly

        it really is a golden age

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2

      Overseas costs are NOT counted in their election spending budget.

      There will be a lot of spending by National ( covertly) in Australia. Wouldn’t be surprised if they do phone banking out of Australia.

  8. just saying 9

    I think it’s no coincidence – the whole song is aggressively “aspirational” and the song and the mood is catchy and familiar. Very sharp and clever marketing. I hope it backfires on them.

    I like Eminem sometimes, though many don’t for good reason (misogyny racism etc…) but I think he’s got something to say about young men who grew up like he did and there often a lot of complexity, and self-awareness.
    Anyway, the song continues:
    (A warning – some may be offended by some of the derogatory language about women)

    The soul’s escaping, through this hole that is gaping
    This world is mine for the taking
    Make me king, as we move toward a new world order
    A normal life is boring, but superstardom’s close to post mortem
    It only grows harder, homie grows hotter
    He blows. It’s all over. These hoes is all on him
    Coast to coast shows, he’s known as the globetrotter
    Lonely roads, God only knows
    He’s grown farther from home, he’s no father
    He goes home and barely knows his own daughter
    But hold your nose ’cause here goes the cold water
    His hoes don’t want him no more, he’s cold product
    They moved on to the next schmoe who flows
    He nose dove and sold nada
    So the soap opera is told and unfolds
    I suppose it’s old partner but the beat goes on
    Da da dum da dum da da

    No more games, I’ma change what you call rage
    Tear this motherfucking roof off like two dogs caged
    I was playing in the beginning, the mood all changed
    I’ve been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
    But I kept rhyming and stepped right into the next cypher
    Best believe somebody’s paying the pied piper
    All the pain inside amplified by the fact
    That I can’t get by with my 9 to 5
    And I can’t provide the right type of life for my family
    Cause man, these goddamn food stamps don’t buy diapers
    And it’s no movie, there’s no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
    And these times are so hard, and it’s getting even harder
    Trying to feed and water my seed, plus
    Teeter totter caught up between being a father and a prima donna
    Baby mama drama’s screaming on and
    Too much for me to wanna
    Stay in one spot, another day of monotony
    Has gotten me to the point, I’m like a snail
    I’ve got to formulate a plot or I end up in jail or shot
    Success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not
    Mom, I love you, but this trailer’s got to go
    I cannot grow old in Salem’s lot
    So here I go it’s my shot.
    Feet, fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got

    [Hook]

    You can do anything you set your mind to, man

    • Karen 9.1

      Parts of it look like something Whaleoil may have written.

      • just saying 9.1.1

        Hence the “backfiring”.

        edit:
        Interesting the overtly masculinist tone in both the ad and the song. I believe there is a token woman aboard the boat, but basically it’s a specific kind of pitch imo.

        • hydey 9.1.1.1

          As for cynical ol’ me, I notice that the blue boat’s cast appears to be all white, while the left boat hash a splash of diversity.

          Reminds me of Key’s subtle race-baiting (Winston! Hone! Metiria!) from 2011.

        • felix 9.1.1.2

          I believe there is a token woman aboard the boat, but basically it’s a specific kind of pitch imo

          Yep pretty much a beer ad. Or maybe nutra-grain.

    • coolas 9.2

      “You only get one shot at it so don’t blow the opportunity, don’t blow, don’t blow”

      Whoever chose the ‘Lose Yourself’ re-mix has either a wicked sense of humour or is uncannily predictive.

      “Make me King as we move into a New World Order”

      Absolutely pure dead brilliant!

  9. Steve Wrathall 10

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10403045/National-channels-Eminem-in-election-ad
    “National Party campaign manager Steven Joyce said the music had been bought and licensed through an Australian-based organisation which had full rights to it.

    The party had also undertaken its own checks to ensure there were no copyright issues.

    “Some people are saying it’s similar and that and that’s fine for them but it’s just a commercial track which we’ve used in the campaign.”…

    So it seems they do….own it (they’ll never, ever let it go)

    • Tracey 10.1

      letsseexwhat eminems people say, for some reason i dont trust a fact just cos it came from national 😉

    • tricledrown 10.2

      Steven Choice lyrics above video schaudenfraude!
      What choice eminem playlist for National
      Mockingbird!
      Monster under my bed!(very Muldoon esque Pinko’s under the bed)
      Rhiana Love the way you LIE!
      Cleaning out my closet!
      Priceless

  10. crocodill 11

    It would’ve been an effective ad, reaching the people they want to reach, if they had edited the… nah why tell them. How odd, the National party have just proven they don’t know how their supporters think.

  11. Tel 12

    ROTFLMAO… so who are all those people flailing about in the WHALEBOAT?

  12. TheContrarian 13

    Someone on kiwiblog has commented

    “Ah, Kiwis. Looking one way whilst moving in the opposite direction”

    which could easily read:

    “Ah, National. Looking one way whilst moving in the opposite direction”

    Amusing

  13. Ant 14

    I hope Labour pip the Nats by using ‘Who Da Neighbors’ for their next campaign vid.

    • alwyn 14.1

      The could get their leader to do the words.
      David C does a pretty good PI imitation I am told, so he should be able to do this.

  14. Rodel 15

    Good Labour video. Positive and sincere.

    Key reading the cue words and speaking in a monotonous wooden tone .He can’t fake sincerity.
    Trouble is he did that last election campaign and won.

  15. adam 16

    The music

    Lose Yourself

    Written by Eminem (as M. Mathers), Jeff Bass (as J. Bass) & Luis Resto (as L. Resto)
    Produced by Eminem
    Performed by Eminem
    Courtesy of Aftermath Entertainment/Interscope Records

  16. Hanswurst 17

    I think calling it plagiarism is a real stretch. The musical content is exceedingly basic. The elements that are the same, a quaver repetition in the guitar and the (nearly) identical chord-progression, a couple of chords in D minor, are so elementary as to be impossible to copyright. There is a somewhat similar use of string patches towards the beginning of each, but that, too, is rather generic. The actual substance of the intellectual property for Eminem would be the mix, the delivery and the lyrics.

    Claiming this to be plagiarism is basically like seeing a sentence reading, “This is a ginger cat,” and claiming that it plagiarises another sentence elsewhere that reads, “This is a grey cat”.

    Two things do leap out at me about National’s soundtrack, though. One is that the string patches are tuned slightly flatter than the guitar, which makes it sound as though it were produced by a couple of dicks in someone’s garage. The divergent tunings are clearly a metaphor for National, in which the right hand at the moment doesn’t appear to know (or want to be seen to know) what the left is doing. The other thing is that the music is clearly similar enough to do an Eminem-style parody of National’s video – if, of course, one isn’t concerned about its getting banned by the Electoral Commission.

  17. Tracey 18

    did anyone catch barry sopers party political broadcast for key and the nats on prime news?

  18. Sable 19

    Maybe they could have “borrowed” from Celine Dion with a twist singing: The Bullshit Goes On and On while Key, Collins and co stand on the deck of the sinking Titanic (renamed the Kiwi Economy)…

  19. Graham 20

    I see david cunlife said he has no contacts with any bloggers
    That must hurt Greg

    • freedom 20.1

      oh Graham, you really should consider a new hobby,
      or at least get some original material before your soul jumps ship and asks for asylum.

      You can deliberately misquote Labour’s leader to your heart’s content but that won’t change the reality of what he actually has been saying and how the very public contact Mr Cunliffe has had with bloggers is a thousand spin doctors away from the backroom manipulations fostered by National.

      • mickysavage 20.1.1

        Good comment Freedom. It is weird how trolls equate contact with people who blog with agreement that Cameron Slater’s particularly distressing world view is somehow appropriate.

    • lprent 20.2

      Not really. You’re assuming that all of the contacts Greg has with Cunliffe are as a blogger. They aren’t.

      I was blogging for the whole of 2008 and at the same time doing volunteer work for Helen Clark in her electorate. We worked together often. However I don’t think that we said more than a few sentences about the blogging.

      But we said quite a lot of sentences about her home computer system which got an upgrade, and even more about the progress of canvassing.

      You really do have a rather simple minded view of the roles that people have each other. Just because you view Greg as a blogger doesn’t meant that that is how others view them. People have different roles.

      Not all of us are as useless at being diverse human beings as Cameron Slater is, and only really have one use to people. Such socially crippled and mono-dimensional people are (fortunately) pretty rare.

  20. felix 21

    “That fat german actually seems to have got a lot of kids interested in voting. This could ruin everything”

    “Yeah, the bastard. Well if they must vote, is there anything we can do to get them to vote for us? What about rap, kids like those rappers don’t they?”

    “Hmm, that could work. Got to be one of the proper ones though.”

    “What, a black one?”

    “Fuck no, I mean someone American.”

    “Oh yeah, of course.”

  21. karol 22

    Does the narrator in the Nat video have a bit of an Aussie accent?

  22. freedom 23

    New Zealand is overflowing with amazing musical talent
    but somehow National hasn’t noticed, again.

    That said, and all things considered,
    FVEY (five eyes) by Shihad would probably not have been their soundtrack choice this election 😉

    Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the rampaging message-fuelled goodness though

    recommended volume: max²

  23. Redzone 24

    At the ad agency pitch:
    Looks kind of elitist in a private school privileged kind of way, and very white middle class … Its Perfect! says key I’m relaxed.

    And the music… IP infringement? yeah nah.I don’t know. might check it, might not. I’m comfortable says key .zzzzzz

    • Thinker 24.1

      What really got me is there was no ACT, Maori Party, or Peter Dunne in National’s boat, but in the opposition’s one there’s Labour, Green and, presumably, Hone in the purple shirt.

      Talk about double standards.

      Or, are they trying to suggest they go into coalition with other parties, then grab all the seats in the boat for themselves, while the opposition works as more of a collective.

      If you look very closely, just as the boat starts rowing, you can see the coxwain say “Australia’s that way, chaps”…

    • Thinker 24.2

      “And the music… IP infringement? yeah nah.I don’t know. might check it, might not. I’m comfortable says key .zzzzzz”

      Look, they googled it and it was sitting there, unprotected, on someone’s website. Everyone knows if it’s sitting unprotected on someone’s website then you can download it and do what you like with it. It isn’t breaking any laws or anything.

  24. Graham 25

    Funny a lot of labour adds have used stock pics from agency’s
    One was from a USA school
    That’s ok remember to keep it positive guys

  25. Graham 26

    Also your mate ms pagini named on national radio 3 Labour Party staffers who haved blogged on the standard
    But that’s ok everybody knows there isn’t any abuse here

    [lprent: Tell me, was Clint a Labour party staffer when he was blogging here. Come back when you can prove that he was. Because there is no foul in being a blogger as a ‘civilian’.

    Staffers don’t author here (unlike Whaleoil) because of the potential conflicts of interest. We even frown on them commenting here except under their own names when we detect them doing so. Generally they don’t.

    But if you can’t show that Clint was blogging here as a staffer, then you now have a permanent ban with no possibility of amnesty. I view for being a making implications about legitimate activities by past authors for the purposes of disrupting their current employment goes far beyond the being your usual lousy behaviour.

    People like Josie Pagani, Cameron Slater, and you are the kind of fuckwits who make blogging under pseudonyms a near requirement for everyone. Vindictive arseholes chasing people in their jobs years after blogging for no particular reason apart from that you can do it. ]

  26. Lloyd 27

    Don’t forget, the Greens are always “flakes” and that ACT is set up to be a sensible neo-liberal group more right-wing economically than the Nats. (This means that donkey can claim to be at the “centre-right” when he is discussing economic policy that Adolf Hitler might have thought was excessive). We will not look at the incredible screw-ups that have been involved in the ACT brand….

  27. infused 28

    I do find it amusing that this post has more comments than Labours video post… which is the main post on the site.

    Also, that this blog has posted story after story since dirty politics broke about the book/emails etc.

    It shares a common trait.

    I hope someone on the left realises that this isn’t actually a good thing.

    The longer this goes on, the more people will tune out. I’m betting the next few polls will not show National going down for this reason.

    Keep it up.

    [lprent: While I am glad to see your concern for this site, please don’t let it concern you. We will do what we think is best for our site. Since we’re getting between three and four times the number of people reading the site as we had a week ago and more than double the page views, I suspect that you are terribly wrong in your delusions. John Key is merely assisting with our growth as people get pissed off with his repetitive and boring diversions.

    Comments have virtually nothing to do with readers or page views. The second largest post in this past year was rocky’s “Dirty Politics: The Brestapo” with a mere 89 comments. It also has had the largest number of unique viewers and is still rising. I’m picking it will surpass the post about Simon Bridges acting like a dickhead on Campbell live. The third was “An honest man?” which has had no comments over the last year.

    But sadly the next time I see you make any similar self-martyrdom statements (see the policy) about how we should run our site, then I will regretfully grant your implied wish to be booted off the site for some time. While I regard it as a stupid way to try to start a flamewar, my real concern is for your wellbeing. I really fear that you are going the way of a mindless drone. Removing you from the temptation to make repetitive statements from your script may save what remains of your mind.

    Please continue with whatever you think is best… (same for anyone else wanting to make faux concern statements about our welfare). I will express my concern for your wellbeing in my own fashion. ]

    • infused 28.1

      I’m not telling you how to run the site. I’m making an observation and comparison to the msm.

      My comments were more of a general sense. Not really just this site. Something i’m noticing everywhere. While this saga goes on, the policies from every party are getting buried, or if discussed, only briefly.

      I’m touched at your concern.

      [lprent: Of course you were. Making a general observation when it concerns this site is exactly the same as making a personal comment about me. After all that is what the policy says. You are addressing the sysop. You have had your warning and in my view even lied about your intent in your response. Please continue… ]

      • infused 28.1.1

        “Making a general observation when it concerns this site is exactly the same as making a personal comment about me.”

        That doesn’t even make sense, considering the line ‘this site isn’t a person’ you throw around.

        Just cut to the chase and ban me. You will see what you want to see.

  28. Fee 29

    I wonder if that national boat will spring any leaks.

  29. McFlock 30

    if the boat represents the national party, it might be the first honesty in a nat ad in years:
    mostly men, not many dark people, and a whole lot of pulling to move in the opposite direction.

    • Hanswurst 30.1

      […] it might be the first honesty in a nat ad in years:
      mostly men […].

      Mostly upper-class twits, perhaps? Looking at the handling of Dirty Politics by Key and the wider front bench, I think that video is a better reflection of the opening phases of National’s campaign than the boat-race fantasy in their campaign ad.

      • Stuart Munro 30.1.1

        Meh – the NZ commercial stream were never upper class – they’re the C grade at best. Adam Smith recognised that class requires sensibility – the Gnats suppress theirs.

        They want to pretend to govern a democracy without talking to or helping their people.

        Adjusting for inflation National never produces growth. They chase technical success – but economies are emergent properties of human populations, not capital sums. Make the people fail and the economy will not prosper, however good it may look on paper.

  30. Donald 31

    John Key palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
    There’s vomit on his sweater already, Judith Collins spaghetti
    He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to drop Lochinver station
    But he keeps on forgetting what Cameron Slater wrote down,
    The whole crowd goes so loud
    He opens his mouth, but the words won’t come out
    He’s choking how, everybody’s joking now
    The clock’s run out, time’s up, over, bloah!

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