Thursday, August 7, 2008

John McCain and YouTube

Today's Washington Times article on John McCain and the Viral phenomenon surrounding his recent 'Celebrity' attacks is quite interesting. According to the article, the recent series of 'brutal yet entertaining' attack ads and the 'combination of wit and insult, has pushed his YouTube channel to the sixth most watched on the site this week.' And John McCain has beaten Barack Obama's channel for 'seven straight days and 11 of the past 14 days.'

This article theorizes that McCain is trying to court the YouTube vote. And goes on to characterize this as a 'giant reversal' since 'Obama had been quadrupling McCain's YouTube views and (was beating) him every day since February.'

The Drudge Report is also onto this theory and has titled the link to the article, 'McCain takes lead on YouTube hits.' Both parties see this as a good sign for McCain. BUT, all this harkens back our Viralroots argument/theory that knowing the true temperament of viewers is impossible. Right? Let's discuss, cause I'm not convinced this is a win for McCain.

Firstly, I don't always think all publicity is good publicity. There's the possiblity the ads could rub people the wrong way. And, regardless of the effect of the ads, its also not automatic that the the viewers are McCain supporters, ie. what if half the viewers are Obama fans who are pissed off, but want to see the ads? Does it even matter? Will online buzz even equate to votes? Time will tell.

But in my opinion, this stuff makes McCain look bad. His handlers have put him into a situation where he's associated him with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears attack ads and now...Paris Hilton's video has gone viral - and it attacks him back! This press can't be good for McCain. The message, whatever it was, is lost and the Viral-ness has taken over. Obama is virtually unaffected. And Paris Hilton is the real winner. Ya' know, cause she's Uggg...

For some perspective with the statistics: Obama's YouTube channel still dominates, with 51 million all-time video views. McCain trails with 8.3 million views.
McCain's silver lining: He's garnered 4.1 million views this month compared with Obama's 2 million as of Wednesday evening.

(Washington Times Link)

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