President Barack Obama and his campaign are expected to spend more than $750 million on his reelection. When you're spending that type of money, you might as well go big.
Obama's reelection campaign released a two-minute trailer for a documentary that will premiere on YouTube next week titled “The Road We've Traveled,” which zooms in on the president's last three years in office. Through now-historic footage and interviews with key players–including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, advisor David Axelrod, and congressional candidate Elizabeth Warren–the movie will look at the economic crisis, health care reform, and the death of Osama Bin Laden. Over it all is the narration skills of actor Tom Hanks.
First posted on YouTube on Wednesday, the video gained more than 14,000 views within 24 hours and is now up to 180,000. But like most notable political videos, it’s also gained its fair share of likes and dislikes. Interestingly most of the comments on the video were positive, although a few critical ones had slipped through. The video was also getting attention from viewers in Europe, who praised Obama's political skills.
“As a UK citizen, I have to say watching the American election process is fascinating - the Obama team have got their social media campaign spot on - videos well executed and focus on policy, not people. Good luck to him!,” wrote FV312.
Of course, this isn't the first time Obama's campaign has gone above and beyond the normal 30-second commercial. Obama made waves just days before the 2008 vote when he purchased a half-hour slot of time on national television to put forth “American Stories, American Solutions,” which served as the campaign's final pitch to voters. The short film was also posted on YouTube and three-and-a-half years later its been viewed by more than 2 million people. That video has also remained wildly popular on YouTube, gaining more than 10,000 likes.
The big question is will people watch the 17-minute video to be posted on YouTube next week. All indications (mostly the viewership on the 30-minute video) say yes. But will it reach the right people? The most likely group of viewers will be those who are fans of Obama and are already planning to vote for him. The viewers that matter most are people who haven't decided who they'll vote for. So how will this video reach beyond it's obvious fan base? The same way it did last time.
As Evan Tracey, director to Campaign Media Analysis Group, told CNN in 2008: “The strategic brilliance of this for Obama is that he is going to consume about 24 hours of the news cycle.”
Photo by United States Government Work