Let the YouTube Election Begin



As I've previously written, expect 2008 to be defined as the YouTube election, as campaigns generate online and conversational buzz by placing innovative ads on the video sharing site, amplifying attention to the ads by way of free media publicity at the Drudge Report, online newspapers, and blogs (sites that can channel millions of readers directly to the ad.)

The latest in this trend is the high-concept anti-Clinton/pro-Obama "1984" spot. Released this weekend, the ad is linked to by the Drudge Report and major newspapers, and has been viewed at YouTube more than 500,000 times. The ad scores on all of the key dimensions of a successful political spot:

Grabs attention and generates buzz
Easily memorably and recalled
Likable with high production values
Taps into a prevailing zeitgeist. In this case the contrast effect between Clinton anxiety and Obama optimism.

(Ask yourself, who would you rather have a beer with?)

Here's how the San Francisco Chronicle describes the breakthrough ad:

The video is a sophisticated new take on director Ridley Scott's controversial Apple ad that caused shock waves with its premiere during the 1984 Super Bowl, and shows the same blond young female athlete running with a sledgehammer toward a widescreen -- where an ominous Big Brother figure drones to a mass of zombielike followers. But this time, the woman is wearing an iPod -- and has her candidate's slogan on her chest. And the Big Brother -- whose image she defiantly smashes with a wave of her sledgehammer -- is Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner. The tagline for the attack: "On Jan. 14, the Democratic primary will begin. And you'll see why 2008 won't be like 1984." An updated Apple symbol -- transformed into an O -- is followed by the dramatically emerging logo: BarackObama.com.



LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less