If elections were held on YouTube, Barack Obama would win hands-down — so far. But the McCain campaign is making inroads on the Web, aided by some good old-fashioned attack ads.
McCain has beaten Obama in terms of viewers on YouTube (GOOG) on four of the last six days, thanks to the success of two ads: “Obama Love,” a montage of press fauning over Obama, and “Pump“, which blames Obama for high gas prices. The former has been viewed more than 176,000 times in two days, and the latter 140,000 times in three days.
To get a sense of how rare this is, McCain has beaten Obama on just two other days in video views since the campaign began: February 11, 2008 and November 29, 2007, according to TubeMogul. Thanks to his clever and aggressive use of video and obvious appeal to the YouTube generation, Obama has owned Web video: His clips have been watched 56 million times since the campaign began; McCain’s have been watched 4.5 million times.
But McCain’s team seems to be figuring out Web video. Or at the very least, they’re having a good week, according to TubeMogul:
Obama’s team of 50 video producers shoot thousands of documentary-like footage, and uploading videos at a breakneck pace. The Obama campaign’s YouTube channel has 1,177 videos, compared to McCain’s 224.
But McCain’s videos reflect a big difference in strategy. They consist of speeches and attack ads either made for the Web, like “Obama Love” or repurposed from TV, like “Pump.” The old wisdom is that the YouTube generation isn’t swayed by over-produced political propaganda. But then, with 83 million unique users, the YouTube generation is starting to look more like America. Here’s a look at the two that took down Obama this week:
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