The blog techPresident used simple math to compare the presidential candidates’ presence on YouTube, and the numbers suggest that the Obama campaign has a more robust internet strategy. By multiplying the length of each Obama and McCain YouTube video by the number of views it received, the blog arrived at the candidates’ “YouTube video total watch time”:
Obama: 14,548,809.05 hours
McCain: 488,093.01 hours
If the campaigns had purchased that airtime on TV, it would’ve cost Obama an estimated $46 million, and McCain about $1.5 million (see techPresident for details on the math).
The numbers aren’t perfect: The watch time and cost calculations account for only the videos generated by the campaigns, the watch times assume that videos were viewed in full, and comparing TV advertising to YouTube views is not “comparing apples to apples,” techPresident acknowledges. Still, the dramatic gap found here is likely indicative of the extent to which each campaign is capitalizing on this new frontier of internet campaign messaging.
And as the 2008 election season nears its conclusion, Obama and McCain aren’t the only candidates continuing to populate the site with creative campaign gems. Take this video from Alaska Democrat Diane Benson, titled “Experience”:
Well Diane, “Experience” was successful in at least one respect: It made the cut for Politico’s10 worst ads of the cycle. As for converting votes, I’m not so sure.