When videos go viral

by Stephen Tall on February 4, 2008

It was YouTube’s top video for the weekend, and has been the talk of the political blogosphere today: a musical remix of Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech from New Hampshire, featuring will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, Scarlett Johansson, rapper Common, Kareem Abdul Jabar, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, and a host of other celebrity supporters.

Obama-inclined as I am, I’m afraid it does nothing for me. Perhaps it’s the overtones of Bob the Builder’s theme-song; or perhaps it’s that I want to listen to Obama’s rhetoric not will.i.am’s rhyme. You’re far better off watching the speech on which it riffs. Anyway, you can judge for yourself by watching it here:

Far better for my money, and perhaps his, was this 30-second spot that Obama’s campaign showed during last night’s US Superbowl (the most expensive advertising slot in the word).

How long before such ads are allowed in the UK? And what effect will they have on political discourse when they are shown? Will they cause folk to switch on, or to turn off?

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I think we’re generally a lot more cynical over here, and stuff like that will not only turn people off, but piss them off. YMMV.

by Jennie on February 4, 2008 at 10:44 pm. Reply #

I think we would delighted were a bunch of famous people to go to the lengths of covering a LibDem speech! I also liked it.

by tim leunig on February 4, 2008 at 11:23 pm. Reply #

I liked the ‘Yes We Can’ video. Puts across the key campaign message in a powerful way.

by Nigel Ashton on February 5, 2008 at 12:11 am. Reply #

I don’t see the ban on TV advertising on ‘matters of political or industrial controversy’ being lifted anytime soon. Or possibly ever.

by Chris Keating on February 5, 2008 at 9:28 am. Reply #

Please don’t even think of encouraging TV ads for political parties in the UK.

by passing tory on February 5, 2008 at 9:43 am. Reply #

Please God No! No TV ads in Britain! it will only inflame the spending arms race and land us all deeper in the funding s***. No!

by David Morton on February 5, 2008 at 7:28 pm. Reply #

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