July 27th, 2010
Be sure to check out this excellent piece from Associated Press reporter Phillip Rawls, who looks at the gap between an online political video’s popularity and its effectiveness. I get a nice quote up toward the front about how videos too often turn out to be little more than a source of amusement for political junkies, but Rawls looks past the generalities to examine some specific examples that have swept the internet and yet yielded little in the way of political results. You won’t be surprised to find out that my favorite part of the article involves tool integration:
Davis said “Demon Sheep” did its job by challenging Campbell’s credibility, and it helped Fiorina come from behind in the polls to win last month’s Republican primary. Unlike James in Alabama, she had the biggest campaign chest of the GOP candidates and reinforced her ad with other campaign material.
Tracey said Internet videos are effective as one part of a much broader campaign strategy. But on their own, they do little more than grab attention.
“It’s like NASCAR races. You are watching to see who wrecks, not who wins,” he said.
True statements all around — gimmicky is fun, but politics is about victory, pure and simple, and a single web video will rarely make much of difference unless it’s part of an overall messaging campaign. Even that ever-popular cinematic powerhouse, the Demon Sheep.