Monday, January 11, 2010

YouTube Face-off: MA Senate Special Election

With only about a week to go to before the Massachusetts Senate special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy, Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley are turning up the heat online to court voters. Today, we examine how the candidates stack up based on their YouTube presence in various categories:

Category: Videos

Coakley: Some of Coakley's videos include this heartfelt thank-you video made for her volunteers and this one which clearly lays out how she plans to help small businesses:

Brown: Brown's videos range from the serious, like this one about Cap and Trade (part of a larger issue series), to the less austere like this video titled, "Freezin' for a Reason" from his volunteers.
Winner: Brown. While Coakley has a few creative videos, most of her channel is comprised of TV spots and event footage - Brown has experimented with more videos that go outside the :30 second window to discuss the issues and connect with voters.

Category: Endorsements

Coakley: She has posted several endorsements from influential organizations like the AFL-CIO, Massachusetts Sierra Club and local politicians like Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas.
Brown: Brown has a few videos from local voters showing his support from the grassroots, as well as an endorsement from Republican heavyweight John McCain:

Winner: Coakley. Coakley's support from large local groups could help her ground game, and it's not quite clear whether a McCain endorsement is a helpful thing (he lost, remember?)

YouTube Channel:

Coakley: Coakley hasn't done much to spruce up her channel - most lacking is a clear link to her website or donate page, which takes approximately 4 seconds to include.
Brown: Brown clearly has taken advantage of YouTube's "Politician" account with nice branding on his channel and a robust comments section - but doesn't using Obama's font clearly go against his anti-Barack messaging?
Winner: Brown. He may have grabbed some ideas from across the aisle, but he's using them to his advantage to create a clean, interesting channel which spurs supporters to action.

The real race might be neck and neck, but it looks like Coakley has some serious catching up to do to beat Brown in the YouTube game...


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