Bob Baker's Book Promotion Blog

Hilary Clinton on Viral Video Marketing

Want a great lesson on how to use the Internet to create a buzz? Keep an eye on the U.S. presidential campaign over the next 18 months. During the 2004 campaign we discovered the power of bloggers. This time around it seems video content will be king.

In an effort to show her softer side, Hilary Clinton ran a lighthearted contest to pick a new campaign song. Check out this video from a couple of weeks ago (which has been viewed nearly 300,000 times).

Also take a look at the announcement video on Sen. Clinton's site, which spoofs The Sopranos finale and makes nice use of former pres Bill and Soprano Johnny Sack.

All of this lead to a big climax: the announcement of the winning song ... which turned out to be an upbeat anthem by, of all people, Canadian songstress Celine Dion.

Here's what was right with this song contest idea:

Hilary did indeed loosen up. In these clips she shows that she has a sense of humor and the ability to not take everything so seriously (something her campaign people have been desperately trying to convey).

Kudos to her for including some of the video submission clunkers and particularly the negative comments people made about the song contest -- important aspects of open and transparent, community-driven communication. Most politicians (and corporations) try too hard to control their intended message and suppress critical comments -- much to their chagrin.

The Sopranos spoof was clever, and the use of Bill, Chelsea and Johnny Sack added some smiles.

Now for the bad: Crowning Celine Dion, the queen of female power ballad sap, as the winner was a mismatch. When I think of web-savvy, forward-thinking voters ready for a change in the White House ... Celine doesn't immediately spring to mind.

Viral buzz is all about connecting with a group of people with a similar worldview. Trying to overlap Hilary-supporting Democrats with Sopranos devotees and Celine Dion fans was a stretch by anyone's imagination.

Another important aspect of today's viral buzz creation is community involvement. While I believe Hilary did welcome new song suggestions, the voting was mainly to choose an existing popular song. Had she opened it up to songwriters and solicited a brand-new campaign song, that would have added a lot more "community involvement."

So, when concocting your own online video buzz theme, make it interactive. And make sure your concept ties in directly to your identity AND the audience you're wanting to reach.

-Bob

YouTube music video promotionJoin the YouTube revolution. Read How to Use Video to Promote Your Music Online. Learn how to create, promote and profit from your own low-cost music videos.

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