Politics and Video: How the Obama Team is Using Video to Explain Complex Political Topics

Web video is proving to be an amazing medium for politicians to get their message across and get citizens to understand and care about the issues of the day. Far more effective than text, it’s been proven that people remember 58% more of what they’ve seen in a video. When it’s time to take action – or vote – that could make a huge difference to the politician or party who has used video effectively.

Using video to explain complex political topics? Kudos to you, Obama.

Take the Obama government, for example. Check out the White House White Board, a series of videos riffing on different political topics. Instead of just being a “talking head,” the presenter uses a white board to highlight important points and bring the topic to life. Here are a few examples of the use of video in politics that the Obama administration has employed:
  • The Costs of Repealing Health Reform: Stephanie Cutter, an Assistant to the President, talks back to recent criticism from the opposition. She uses the white board to show in black and white (or in this case, blue and red) exactly why America should stand behind Obama’s health reform program. A quick and effective response.
  • Your Health Care Dollars: Still on the topic of health, this video uses a simple graphic of a dollar bill to talk about how government regulations will force insurance companies to use more of your premium dollar on your health.
  • Tax Cuts, Unemployment Insurance & Jobs: Not the most glamorous topic (as opposed to the previous two?), but another good example of using visual cues to break down a complex, multi-layered topic. Notice how the list of Obama’s tax cut benefits grows longer and longer compared to the other column.
These are just a few examples of how the White House is using video, social media and other web tools to stay connected with people and respond immediately to changes on the political landscape.

“Those outlets help the administration connect with voters and ‘make you feel a part of it,’ said Karen Finney, a former spokeswoman for the Democratic Party and a potential candidate to replace Gibbs. ‘People love all that behind-the-scenes stuff.’” (quote from Bloomberg article)

The timing was sure right, with Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign when decent broadband was finally more widespread (and it’s only improved since then).

But mostly this is about Obama being a forward thinker – much like our clients here at Switch.

Our message to any politician: video gets you votes!

So listen up, all aspiring politicians. Politics is changing. The political landscape is changing. Using video to explain complex political topics should be a big part of any aspiring political candidate’s communication strategy. We guarantee voters will appreciate your efforts, and they’ll show you by marking an ‘x’ right beside your name when they head to the polls.
Politics and Video: How the Obama Team is Using Video to Explain Complex Political Topics was last modified: by

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