The Power of Youtube

August 22, 2010

Basil Marceaux may not have won the Republican nomination for Governor of Tennessee but he certainly won the hearts and minds of internet users around the country. While established politicians weren’t taking notes of Marceaux’ campaign tactics, the precipitous ascent of his internet campaign videos should serve notice of the power of the Web and Youtube heading into 2010.

Outrageous sells on the internet. While most political ads may only receive thousands or only hundreds of views – with many Member’s floor speeches lucky to get out of the double-digits – an eye-catching, different video may garner millions of views. While campaigns may be hard pressed to tap the power of Susan Boyle’s rise to fame, or surpass Lady Gaga’s Youtube dominance, there are examples of politicians unleashing the potential of Youtube to change a campaign.

Many may remember Carly Fiorina’s “Demon Sheep” February attack advertisement against Tom Campbell, her opponent in the Republican primary for California’s Senate seat. This ad garnered more than 300,000 views and launched Fiorina into the national spotlight.

While Ned Lamont recently lost the Democratic nomination for Governor of Connecticut, this campaign ad, with more than 166,000 views, helped the businessman come out of anonymity to defeat Senator Lieberman in the 2006 Democratic Senate primary.

Lastly, while not a campaign ad, Obama’s speech on religion following the Reverend Jeremiah White attacks in 2008 garnered more than six million views. With a runtime of more than 37 minutes, it proves the public will watch any video they deem inspiring, funny or fresh.


Online Ad Spending Surging for 2010 Midterms

August 16, 2010

Google search Carly Fiorina. Chances are you have a pink box at the top of the page telling you to join Carly Fiorina for California today. Now Google search the incumbent Barbara Boxer. I bet the pink box has ads telling you to go to CallMeBarbara.com and CarlyforCalifornia.com.

The political online ad wars are in full swing. Online ad spending for 2010 is expected to more than double compared to 2008, which is impressive considering this is a midterm election. The bidding wars have extended from the TV and radio airwaves to keywords on Google, Bing and Yahoo – not to mention paid advertising on Facebook, Blogs and traditional news Websites.

While online advertising is increasing exponentially, it is still expected to account for only 1% of total campaign budgets according to Borrell Associates, a local advertising consulting firm.

One of the best parts of online advertising is campaigns can see immediate results not only from pushing their messaging but encouraging people to volunteer and donate. An effective online campaign can be cost neutral or as President Obama proved in 2008, be a fundraising boon.

Online advertising comprising of search functionality, e-mail, social media and emerging mobile advertising opportunities will help campaigns remain economically viable, reinforce messaging and anchor rapid response capabilities.

And chances are, if you are not doing it, your opponent probably is.

To learn more about political online advertising, read this recent piece from Advertising Age.