Online Ads: The benefit (Part Two)
Tamara A. Small (Mount Allison University) has published work on online election campaigning in Party Politics and in the Canadian Journal of Political Science and about Internet regulation in Election Law Journal.
Last week, I blogged about the Liberal Party’s online ad, Hey Stephen Harper, stop creeping me on Facebook. I have another one for you:
The video is the first episode on the YouTube channel, It's Over Steve!! According to the channel, “If enough women vote, Harper's Regime will fall.” As we saw last week, the gender gap remains important to electoral politics in Canada. It's Over Steve also encourages women to make their own videos and link them to the channel.
Not only are political parties and candidates producing web-exclusive ads, so too are interest groups and individuals. Independently produced online ads came to prominence in the 2004 American election. However, this phenomenon was magnified in 2008 with the growing popularity of YouTube. Millions of people watched videos like Vote Different and Obama Girl in the American election. While Culture en Peril was a gamechanger in the 2008 federal election. Produced by Québec singer, Michel Rivard, the French and English videos were viewed by more than half a million people by election day. These videos also received considerable coverage in the mainstream media.
Videos like these demonstrate the power and reach of the Internet for politics. Using technology freely available, individual citizens and organized groups can potentially get their political messages out to millions of people for little to no cost. This is something that would have been nearly impossible in the pre-Internet world.
Only a couple thousand people have viewed It's Over Steve in the first 24 hours of its existence. So it is not quite on the level of Obama Girl and Culture en Peril. Not yet. However, the video has already gone viral. I didn’t go looking for the video, it appeared in my Facebook feed this morning. Word of mouse can be powerful.
Seen any interesting independent online videos? Let me know.