Obama Girl: Can the buzz from one viral video shape a national election?

March 5, 2008

I’ve written often about generating buzz for film through viral awareness, incorporating viral video into publicity campaigns, deploying embed-and-spread to find, build, and engage an audience.  When it’s done well, it’s very successful. We’ve all seen plenty of examples.

barelypolitical.jpgWho would have guessed viral awareness tools would sweep into our country’s political process as well?  Certainly, not much in the 2004 elections would have indicated viral video’s power in the political arena. What? Buzz around a satirical YouTube music video of a sexy undulating young woman could possibly figure into something as sober as the decision-making process of American voters in deciding the next President of the United States??

 Who knew?

And yet, it seems that’s exactly what has happened in 2007-2008.  While following Barack Obama’s campaign progress, one thing that struck me is the number of younger supporters he’s gathered.  I thought about what would make him seem attractive to that particular demographic.  I’m sure there are lots of things.  Obama has one thing, however, that the other candidates don’t.  There’s a pop culture phenomenon associated with him that remains unique to this one particular candidate. 

Obama Girl.

Am I crazy for even entertaining the notion that one viral video could have such an impact on voter preferences?  Read the rest of this entry »