Anti-Hillary YouTube video is interesting study in image and reputation

With 21 months to go before the next president is sworn in, the gloves are clearly off and the nasty politicking has begun. The new anti-Hillary video on YouTube, for example, has already attracted 1 million downloads. Allegedly created by Obama supporters, the Hillary spot is a riff on the classic 1984 Apple TV spot and shows an ‘athlete’ hurling a ball-and-chain at a large screen of Ms. Clinton and blowing it to smithereens.

So, which candidate’s image and reputation does the spot tarnish? Neither. I believe people have already made up their minds about Hillary and, like the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, one either loves her or hates her. As for Obama, he’s still too much of a blank slate. He needs to explain who he is and what he stands for rather than take pot shots at what Hillary is or isn’t.

The fascinating part of the process is the technology factor. YouTube and other such sites are empowering politically active citizens to creatively vent their views and opinions and reach mass audiences in ways never before possible. Howard Dean was the early, acklowedged master of blogging in 2004. It will be interesting to see which candidate masters the total CMG spectrum as we wind up to the November ’08 elections and whether Web 2.0 becomes a decisive factor in the actual voting.

One thought on “Anti-Hillary YouTube video is interesting study in image and reputation

  1. Re: “It will be interesting to see which candidate masters the total CMG spectrum…”
    Based on what the media is saying about this Hillary video – specifically, that the anonymous creator indicating it was a “grass-roots attack on Hillary Clinton” (therefore not affiliated with the Obama camp directly) – then it might not be a candidate who masters or dominates this new medium. Instead, it’ll be the candidate who has the most creative supporters.
    Specifically, if a candidate has one or more creative supporters who’s into creating multimedia, and especially if they are marketing savvy or have a large following of their own (ie subscribers to their Youtube profile), then they could churn out lots of popular videos, podcasts, or pictures that might go viral like this video has.
    Viral stuff like that could be done by the politicians’ camps too, but it’d be advisable to make it WELL known that they’re the source. Because the sullied masses get wildly upset of they think someone’s trying to pull the wool over their eyes. 🙂
    But the real juicy stuff (politically incorrect or excessively critical) would have to come from the general populous and not anyone associated with a candidate directly.
    Good post, and an interesting topic we’ll no doubt see much more of as 2008 approaches!