“You” Video: The New Cause Politics?

Developments in social media have led to a new type of online, personalized campaign advertisements.

And now for the next generation of the powers of social media to cause-politicize the masses, get ready for You Video.

No, we’re not talking YouTube. That’s oh-so-yesterday. Think 2010 midterm elections. As the political waters heat up online and off, progressives are carving out a new 3.0 approach to political outreach, launching a new type of fundraising video that, well, involves the up close and personal “you.” On video. No kidding. [Quick, better spruce up that online photo.]

To see just how up close and personalized these videos are, check out the latest “Blue State” fundraising appeal from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), in partnership with MoveOn.org and Brave New Films. Called “Glenn Beck Attacks,” the campaign personalizes a video interface and, using a Facebook interface that “grabs” your photo and other personal data from your Wall, instantly creates a pseudo newscast with you all over it.

The video caption reads: “Fox host Glenn Beck spent much of the last week claiming that a normal, everyday progressive was linked to Stalin, Elvis, Joe Biden’s cousin, and the guy who came up with the idea of taxes.”

The interface adds your name and picture to a phony CNN-like news segment,  but for those who wish [depending on the level of your political angst or activism], the video can be personalized even further, to include one’s hometown, friends’ names, employer, and so forth.

Have a look by clicking on http://beck.cnnbcvideo.com and walk through the paces.


Is this the next generation of political advertising, or the next privacy violation? The site advises people to worry not: “This video and site are fictional and satirical,” it says.

What do you think? Is this campaign going to go viral or is it too close for comfort? And regardless, what applications might there be here for cause-related video campaigns? Let us hear from you.

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  • As fun as it seems to be able to do this, grabbing your Facebook pics or something you have posted online and creating a video using your image and information without any consent, seems not only invasive, but like identity theft.  It is a comical idea if people involved are doing so only with their own consent and knowledge.  Otherwise, these types of amusements should be completely voluntary… or be offered at an amusement park next to the record-an-album-yourself studio.

  • BY Kaoru Wang

    ON March 17, 2010 09:07 AM

    Who would of thought we’d have the technology to customize to this extent? Very interesting- never even knew this was possible. I can understand why it can seem intrusive but there is a warning before entering the site so I don’t know… seems quite harmless in this context.

  • There used to be an art to slinging personalized political insults, which also included having those with whom you disagree there in the room (or at least the opposite street corner) to rebut and/or engage something that what once called “discourse.”  Now you just use the app to make an insult to send to your friends to show how cool you are and the people who ought to hear it never see it, because the internet makes it possible to hang out only with people like yourself.  I was thinking of this very concept just this morning (independently of this posting) and imagining a Ziggy cartoon in which Ziggy keeps trying to a group of people who can relate to him until at long last he finds that group—of 1—just him, the perfect group for guys like Ziggy.  Then again, we all need more fun ways to spend time on Facebook.  I don’t know…

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