In one last push to mobilize voters, Michelle Obama is asking her husband’s supporters to get viral on Tuesday.
In a final salvo for Super Tuesday, the Obama Campaign blasted an email from Ms. Obama urging supporters to share the new music video "Yes We Can." The video was a smash hit across the web since launching on Friday, bringing direct footage of Obama’s stump speech to millions of people. It already netted over 1.8 million views on YouTube, and potentially hundreds of thousands more from another hub, DipDive.com, which drew over 1,000 links from U.S. websites since last week. The Obama Campaign’s new viral push should bolster those numbers — his State of the Union rebuttal recently topped a million views on YouTube. And Obama’s YouTube profile has drawn over 11.5 million views, more than ten times Hillary Clinton.
While Obama is tapping energized supporters and intrigued viewers to basically spread his message for free, Clinton invested in an hour of national paid media with a televised town hall on Monday night. The "Voices Across America" event was broadcast on the Hallmark channel, and streamed on HillaryClinton.com. (Neither Hallmark nor the campaign would comment on the cost, according to MediaWeek.)
Of course, all campaigns invest heavily in television, and Obama just bought local Super Bowl ads. But this viral video strategy bolsters and deepens his voter outreach. Obama reaches more people this way, and enables them to share his message with their contacts. He speaks to young voters in their preferred medium. He routes around the traditional media filter — and its penchant for reactive conflict — with a proactive message. (It’s hard to show leadership while parrying Brian Williams’ tactical quizzing, as Obama learned Monday; Video below.)
The key is that Obama also asks supporters to do something. It could be forwarding the video for Michelle, or telling their MySpace friends to vote, or busting out a cell phone to mobilize strangers. Lately the campaign has even empowered supporters to call voters from home, punching in their results online: