Leading up to the President’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, we’ve seen two examples of effective online political marketing, one from each side of the aisle.
President Obama’s State of the Union Video Teasers
In addition to touring the nation to tout his proposals and generate local news coverage for his address, President Barack Obama has also been releasing what amounts to a series of video trailers for to drum up interest in the proposals he’ll make in his speech.
The President began with a headline-grabber by proposing two years of free community college tuition:
And affordable broadband Internet access:
And today, a behind-the-scenes interview of the president:
As I discussed in this week’s Beyond Social Media Show podcast, these video teasers were shared throughout social media and will likely have the effect of boosting viewership of the address itself, given how focused they are on specific proposals. Here’s the segment where my co-host BL Ochman and I discussed the tactic:
House Speaker John Boehner Pulls A BuzzFeed With 12 Taylor Swift Gifs
House Speaker John Boehner published a BuzzFeed-like listicle blog post featuring 12 Taylor Swift animated Gifs to make his argument against the President’s proposal to offer two years of free community college tuition.
As you’ll see from the following video segment, my co-host and I disagreed on this one; She had issues with it, I thought it was effective.
Presidents always have the advantage of the “Bully Pulpit” and it’s hard to compete with such a megaphone, so sometimes you’ve got to get a bit creative.
The headline of “12 Taylor Swift Gifs For You,” coming from Speaker Boehner especially, is irresistible link bait. Of course you’re going to click on it to find out why he’d be sharing Taylor Swift Gifs.
First objective accomplished: Get people’s attention.
Next, the Speaker had to make an argument against what is a very popular idea: free college tuition. How do you do that without reinforcing the notion that all Republicans do is say no? That’s where the Taylor Swift Gifs come in; they softened the message of opposition with humor.
The listicle format makes for an easy, quick read, so it’s likely a lot of people read the entire message.
Second objective accomplished: Get people to understand your message.
Here’s the debate my co-host and I had about this tactic: