Obama, McCain, and the Youtube Gap

Lots has already been made of the first YouTube campaign. Never before have candidates had such cheap access to video posting that can become so viral so quickly. McCain’s controversial “Britney Spears” ad ran very lightly in traditional media, but has been a YouTube craze. Obama’s race speech has been viewed over a million times. But taking a look at their Youtube pages, we can see how differently Senators McCain and Obama use the new medium. 

Starting with McCain:


Campaign Ads anyone?

Campaign Ads anyone?

Looking at the screen shot above you can see the majority of clips are campaign ads, and the thumbnails have a surprisingly high number of Obama images. It’s clear that McCain’s campaign sees the medium as a place to play and replay his campaign ads. There are three thumbnails up from town hall meetings, or public engagements, but over all very little footage from the campaign trail. It’s also worth noting that McCain’s campaign page claims 227 videos as of this posting. 

Contrast that with Barack Obama’s campaign page and the differences are startling. 


Campaign Trail Clips Galore

Campaign Trail Clips Galore

Looking at the screen shot we the vast majority of these clips are rehashes of ads, but rather campaign stops and direct-to-camera message videos. It’s pretty clear the Obama camp sees a very different purpose for YouTube. Not simply a place post ads, it’s a far more in depth page, where you can follow Obama on the campaign trail and get a sense for his rhetoric easily and quickly. The sheer volume of content is staggering 1070 as of this writing. 

So who’s winning the YouTube war? Tough to say, when you have a campaign ad “go viral” as McCain did last week one could say he did. But when medium is a tool for your supporters or those curious about you to watch and learn more about you, it becomes a long term advantage. 

So far…let’s call it a tie.


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