As the quarterly fundraising report deadline drew to a close, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched new Obama-damning videos. Meanwhile, GOP hopeful Michele Bachmann’s camp mistakenly posted test videos.
A new Mitt Romney YouTube video effort, in keeping with a trend for the campaign, is on point with the candidate’s real-world communications strategy. Romney visited an Allentown, PA steel plant yesterday – just in time for President Barack Obama’s own visit to the key general election swing state.
At the same time Romney’s campaign launched a video on YouTube which replays a speech from 2009 featuring the President recalling a visit to Allentown Metalworks, the same plant Romney visited yesterday. The video transitions to a TV clip in which a news anchor discusses the shutdown of that facility, noting, “This was hailed as a symbol of hope by President Barack Obama last year when he promoted his jobs plan.”
Not only does this latest Romney video mirror his offline message, it uses Obama’s message against him. The same elements are reflected in a video posted by Romney for President last month entitled “He’s Right,” which focused on his prominent jobs-and-economy campaign trail theme.
The NRSC is also using the President’s words against him in a just-posted video. This time, they come from a press conference Obama gave earlier this week. The video juxtaposes his admonishment that Congress had not crafted a debt ceiling compromise with images of him quaffing Guinness in Ireland, swinging a golf club, and playing ping pong with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron.
Pennsylvania’s own GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, who has been slow to join the parade of produced 2012 election YouTube videos, has launched his own anti-Obama video.
“America is facing one of its greatest economic threats since the great depression but it’s not coming from OPEC or China or Russia. It’s coming from Barack Obama,” declares a foreboding announcer in the “Time to Fight Back” video. It invites voters to visit RickSantorum.com on July 7 to watch his speech in Iowa presenting a plan to “beat China and India at manufacturing” and return America to the economic power and job creating engine that has always been the envy of the world.”
Though the video encourages people to visit the Santorum campaign site, there is no overlay ad featured in the video enabling click-through. Sometimes advertisers use the YouTube overlay ad format in their videos when aiming to drive people to take a direct call to action, such as visiting a website. Romney’s camp, for example, included an overlay ad in the June 22 He’s Right video, which asked people to donate to the campaign; the quarterly election campaign filing deadline was yesterday.
Rather than rely on an anti-Obama theme, the Bachmann campaign’s produced videos mainly have featured the photogenic candidate speaking directly to the camera. But the campaign has experienced some minor YouTube mishaps.Two test videos were posted to the Team Bachmann YouTube channel yesterday, including one lasting about a minute in which a man is filmed while typing on his computer keyboard.
Another video named “new test” which also appears to have been posted mistakenly, shows people setting up a room for a Bachmann speaking engagement, including one man arranging decorative plants.
“I don’t see this these types of videos [on] Gov. Pawlenty’s youtube page…..” wrote a commenter on one of the videos. The same person suggested the posting errors could portray the campaign in a poor light. “These types of videos including the dude typing on his computer while it films him do not represent [Bachmann] in a very good light…. Also you have people discussing dumb [Bachmann] campaign videos and talking in a not so positive light while we should be talking about the strides of her [campaign].”
Indeed, internal campaign operations of the 2012 presidential hopefuls are under intense scrutiny and do appear to have an impact on the ways in which voters perceive candidates. For instance, the exodus of several top level staffers working for Newt Gingrich sent shockwaves through the campaign and may have damaged the perception of the former House Speaker.