Best curveball I’ve seen since Stephen Strasburg’s debut with the Nationals:
Filed under: Marketing, Online Video, Staging | Tags: arizona, immigration, jan brewer
Wow – this is one great online video from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer.
Regardless of what you think about Arizona’s new immigration law, this video is extremely effective for a lot of reasons, one of which is that Brewer got out of the studio and produced the video on location. Too many candidates and elected officials fall back on the stale, boring law-book backdrop when they should be out where the action is. In this case, the middle of the Arizona desert.
It’s also an online video that’s specifically produced to be – get this – an online video! It’s not a cliched political TV ad that’s become a parody of itself and then posted on YouTube almost as an afterthought.
And perhaps most importantly, it shows Brewer acting as a citizen journalist reporting relevant news. She could have issued a news release or written an op-ed attempting to call attention to the folly of these signs, but doing so never would have had the impact of this video. It actually breaks news, which is where the power of online video ultimately lies.
I think the only thing Gov. Brewer’s team could have done better is to get her statement done without any edits. It’s only a minute long and relatively extemporaneous, and they drove all the way out there to tape it – better to do it a few times to get it right without any stumbles than to have an awkward edit in the middle.
Still, very well done, Governor Brewer! Looking forward to your next production…
I just ran across this new video of U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, which was filmed last week at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In the video, Brownback stands outside the detention center that’s been in the news so much recently, discussing what he’d just witnessed during a tour of the facility.
The video was simple and cheap enough to produce, but it works on so many levels.
First, it gives Brownback a moral high ground in the contentious debate: unlike nearly all of Gitmo’s critics, he’s actually been there and can speak with an authority they’ll never have.
Second, he offers the same defense of the facility that nearly all of its defenders in Washington offer, but instead of doing it from a Congressional committee room or sterile network studio, he does it from the facility itself. which most people have never really seen, and that makes it more likely that viewers will actually listen to what he has to say. In essence, Brownback becomes a citizen reporter, much as we did in this video I produced at the proposed site of the infamous Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska in 2006.
Finally, the video is something different, interesting and relevant that his staff can use to pitch his availability and expertise to national news producers. Not only does the video enhance Brownback’s expertise on the issue, it gives producers some unique b-roll to play during upcoming interviews.
Check it out below, and think about how on-location video can help you break out of the pack:
At the risk of adding to the media’s nauseating “First 100 Days” Obamagasm this afternoon, it’s worth noting that the White House yesterday added the first 300 or so photos to its Flickr photostream.
From a strictly photographic standpoint, most of the pictures are nothing short of spectacular. Official White House photographer Pete Souza has an amazing talent for capturing moments in a moving and creative ways.
From a political standpoint, the Flickr photostream is a savvy way for Team Obama to further humanize their guy. There’s Barack Obama the “Serious Leader.” Barack Obama the “Guy You Wish Was Your Boss.” Barack Obama the “Loving Husband and Father.” Barack Obama the “Vigorous and Healthy Athlete.” Barack Obama the “Guy Like You Who Tosses a Football to Himself While Making Decisions.” There’s even Barack Obama the “ Aspiring Photographer.”
As I browsed through the White House photostream, two things really jumped out at me:
1. Every single photo is designed to show a candid behind-the-scenes moment. I viewed all 293 photos, and not one of them shows Obama posed, behind a podium, or in any other openly scripted moment. This is obviously intended to give voters a voyeuristic thrill, like many of the the online videos Team Obama produced during and after the campaign.
2. Quite a few of these behind-the-scenes photos show Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton getting along quite swimmingly, likely an attempt to bury the campaign hatchet with any of their supporters who haven’t yet completely closed ranks. One particularly effective photo shows Clinton laughing with Obama behind a half-closed door aboard Air Force One. Another shows them meeting at a picnic table on the White House lawn.
All in all, very smart stuff, and once again, the kind of thing that every candidate should be doing to more effectively humanize themselves with the voters they’re trying to attract.
Filed under: Government Spending, Obama, Staging | Tags: heritage foundation
The folks at Heritage have been releasing some powerful illustrations lately, perhaps none better than the one below, which shows the size of President Obama’s proposed spending cuts in relation to the massive levels of recent federal spending:
One thing many conservatives have done for far too long is try to make points only using words and unemotional logic and reason. Of course, when the other side always says they want to “help” the children or the elderly, responding with points about millions and billions and percentages is allmost always a losing argument.
We need to draw pictures for people so they can literally see the difference between millions and billions and trillions. We need to tell emotional stories to people so they feel what’s at stake if we continue to saddle our children and grandchildren with crushing debt. And with the one illustration above, Heritage is probably educating and mobilizing more people than they did with their last 10 (very well done and informative) policy papers combined.
Filed under: Government Spending, Protest, Staging, Taxes | Tags: jane hamsher, tea parties, tea party
The folks who are organizing Wednesday’s Tea Party in Houston have come up with a good idea: refer as “Tea Party Truthers” to the paranoid conspiracy theorists who claim that the Taxpayer Tea Parties are funded by sinister corporate interests or the Fox News Channel.
Truth is, many of them probably are the same folks who think that 9/11 was an inside job, so it seems like a fitting label.
As I pointed out right after the Feb. 27 Tea Parties, I’ve been working in politics professionally for 15 years, and I can attest that this is undoubtedly an organic grassroots movement unlike anything else I’ve ever seen on the Right. Yes, national grassroots organizations and some media outlets are now jumping on the bandwagon and heavily promoting their activities in conjunction with these events, but that’s a far cry from them “financing” them.
For some reason, too many on the Left don’t understand (or care) that when they spout this garbage that’s so obviously not true, they completely undermine any credibility they might have when they actually have valid points to make.
UPDATE 4:55 p.m. EDT: Glenn Reynolds has an excellent op-ed about the true grassroots nature of the Taxpayer Tea Parties in today’s NY Post.
You may have missed this in all the coverage of the President’s news conference, but last night the White House unveiled a new “Open for Questions” feature, similar to what they did during the transition at the Change.gov website.
The effort was announced in a web video featuring President Obama, who encourages viewers to submit questions online – either as text or as a videotaped question – then come back for an online Town Hall meeting with him on Thursday, where he’ll answer some of the questions.
Smart, smart stuff. Dammit. Of course, as I’ve lamented before, it’s beyond me why every GOP Member of Congress isn’t soliciting feedback online from their constituents, then answering a few of the letters and e-mails on YouTube every week or two.
First, the good news: this morning’s Washington Times reports that Hill Republicans now have 8 of the top 10 Congressional channels on YouTube:
“House Minority Leader John A. Boehner – whose floor speech against the stimulus bill is the third-most-popular congressional video with 467,454 views – has encouraged Republicans to think of themselves as “entrepreneurial insurgents” reaching out to the American people.
“Given that we are in the minority in the House, we need to think of ourselves not primarily as legislators, but as communicators, and we need to use every tool available to communicate our better solutions to the problems facing our nation,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner.”
In an age when another daily newspaper goes out of print nearly every week and the mainstream media is increasingly irrelevant, this is a very good sign – attributable in part to the added grassroots energy that’s resulting from Obama’s overreach on spending, but also attributable to many Hill Republicans adapting to new technology and new communications venues.
Unfortunately, I don’t think all the communications news this week has been good for the GOP, due to some on the Hill who have publicly griped that President Obama shouldn’t (a) fill out March Madness brackets or (b) go on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
I hope the GOP gets off this communications track in a hurry. There are plenty of sound criticisms of Obama’s policies without having to look like a bunch of grumpy old men yelling at the young whippersnapper to get out of their front yard. Part of any President’s job – especially in challenging times – is to reassure the American people that things are going to be ok.
And when Republican Senators complain that Obama took a few minutes to fill out his brackets on ESPN, what message does that send to Joe Six Pack, who’s struggling to make ends meet, stay in his house, and keep his family together – but who also takes a few minutes to fill out his brackets? That it’s impossible to rise to the challenges of the day and to also have a little fun at the same time? Or that it’s wrong to try?
The same goes for the Leno appearance. What exactly is Obama supposed to do – stay hunkered down in the Oval Office and only talk with reporters for the Washington Post and New York Times? It’s not like he went on the Jerry Springer Show with a bunch of transvestite hookers. When exactly did Jay Leno become such a controversial communications venue and when did smiling and telling a joke every now and then become a political liability?
Fact is going on Leno or filling out March Madness brackets is exactly the kind of thing that Reagan would have done in his day to get his message and persona out to the American people. And the Democrats back then would have probably howled in protest, mainly out of sheer envy that they couldn’t connect with the American people as effectively. And they would have looked very small and petty. Just like some Republicans did this week.
You may remember Rick Santelli’s “Rant Heard Round the World” on CNBC last week, in which he spoke out on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange against President Obama’s mortgage bailout plan and called for a “Chicago Tea Party.” Santelli’s outburst struck a nerve with millions of frustrated taxpayers across America, who have been working hard and playing by the rules, only to then be forced to bailout one bad decision maker after another.
Almost as soon as Santelli finished his rant, taxpayers from coast to coast started to organize real “Tea Party” protests to voice their anger and frustration. Today, several hundreds folks converged on Lafayette Park, just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House for DC’s Tea Party. Check out video from the scene below:
Filed under: Government Spending, Staging | Tags: bailout, bank, Obama, stimulus
One way to make a point in the political arena is to offer a reason-based argument full of well-documented facts. Often, especially in times of high stress and extreme economic insecurity, a better way is complete farce and parody.
With that in mind, check out the Bank of Obama, brought to us by three guys in Austin who dreamed up the idea in a local bar. Just enter a recipient, an amount and a purpose for the memo line, and presto whammo, you’ve got your very own bailout check from the Bank of Obama:
Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be. This is the kind of creative (and relatively easy-to-produce) application that’s likely to connect with many more people than the most soundly constructed, rational argument ever will. Just something for all of us to keep in mind during upcoming debates.
In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be on the next flight to Hawaii. “Aloha” means “Goodbye!” suckers!