Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will Youtube have an impact?

Looking at the viewing numbers for John McCain's campaign videos on Youtube I was impressed, one got almost 850,000 views. Now we do not know where those viewers are in the world, never mind if they are likely to vote or in the key swing states; it is a significant number though. But then you consider the size of the US voting population, estimated to be somewhere close to 205 million, of which 50-60% (so at least 100 million) should be expected to turn out. So suddenly less than one million (0.8% of the population) suddenly seems a drop in the ocean. Clinton nor Obama are fairing any better, even scanning across the Will-i-am Yes We Can Barack Obama promotion, that has had around 15 million views; could be 15% of the electorate but I am one of those viewers and not a potential voter so perhaps only 10%, 10 million, may be in the US. Will this increase as the election gets closer, will Youtube and the Internet come of age as a tool of political communication, and can this be measured in views, recall, or what - any ideas?


Andrew Chadwick said...

Targeting is the big issue here, as you say. There are some interesting developments around geotargeted state level Google campaign ads specifically sold to campaign teams on this basis, which emerged for the first time recently. See here:

Darren G Lilleker said...

Fascinating article, thanks Andrew. I may do more with it at some point. Good to know that there is a better strategy than simply post it and hope it reaches the right audience, which I think is happening in the UK. Still hard to say what impact it has, and of course there is the secondary and tertiary impact as word of mouth plays a role. One to think about on the plane.