While everyone is abuzz over traditional political TV ads,
President Obama is readying his reelection campaign through social media,
reported The New York Times.
Obama and his advisers are preparing a 17-minute online
documentary narrated by Tom Hanks called The
Roads We've Traveled. The documentary will appear on a YouTube platform
that allows viewers to post campaign content to their Facebook pages, volunteer
and donate all on the same page, according to the report.
The campaign strategists hope to use the new software in
more targeted manner, such as offering the content to viewers' Facebook friends
in a similar geographic location, the story says.
"The importance of
video is so new for campaigns, even relative to '08," said Teddy Goff, digital
director of the Obama campaign, in the report. "Now it's in some ways the primary way our
digital operation communicates with supporters. And increasingly it will be the
primary way we communicate with undecided voters."
While television will likely remain the prevailing political
ad outlet, experts say that about 10% of campaign ad budgets will be spent this
year on the Web. Online video, as opposed to television, is a more interactive
way of connecting with voters - and for voters to interact amongst themselves.
The Roads We've
Traveled is directed by Davis Guggenheim, and features interviews with Vice
President Joe Biden and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Former President
Bill Clinton also makes an appearance in the video.
Obama's campaign isn't the only one to utilize the Web,
however. Mitt Romney's campaign is using a similar platform, posting Web videos
where visitors can donate, volunteer and share content within Romney's YouTube
For those willing to donate, the campaign staffers have made
it easier to repeat donations - the platform saves and stores credit card
information, making a second donation much quicker.
"It's the ability to get your message out quickly that makes
all the difference," said Zac Moffatt, the Romney campaign's digital director.
"And that's really where I think YouTube has found a niche in politics."