27 September 2012

Vile Viral Video Urges Electing Obama Again

[L] Samuel L. Jackson, actor and Obama activist

Samuel L. Jackson, the narrator for the video version of the ironic bed time book “Go the F–k to Sleep” is the star of a new internet spot on the election. The Jewish Council for Research and Education, a pro-Obama liberal Super PAC run by George Soros’ 25-year old scion Alexander, engaged the 63-year old actor to reprise his role as a angry man reading a Dr. Seuss like story "Wake the F--k Up".

 A sample of the "high" art contained in this YouTube gem includes:

             Sorry my friend, but there’s no time to snore,
            the out-of-touch millionaires just declared war;
             on schools, the environment, unions, fair pay...
            We’re all on our own if Romney has his way.
            He’s against safety nets.
            If you fall, tough luck.
            So I strongly suggest you
            WAKE THE F--K UP!

 Getting Samuel L. Jackson to do a follow up to “Go the F–k To Sleep” was a coup which drew attention to this puerile political stunt. But to what end? This may get many shares among collegians, but will it drive unmotivated youths to go to the polls? Obama will win the demographic niche of those in college but they probably will not come out in droves as they did in the 2008 cycle. But to borrow an image from GOP V.P. nominee Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI 1st) acceptance speech, will this hip, hyped hoopla get an unemployed college graduate staring at posters in his boyhood bedroom to “Wake the F–k Up” and affirmative vote for four more years of this is dubious.

This campaign is trying to leverage the power of social media to acquire what is known in political circles as earned media. But this viral video may backfire The “Wake the F–K Up” campaign is too clever by half. It’s profanity laced political message can not be widely circulated through the media except via censored snippets that highlight the vehicle more than the message. The vile viral video will offend seniors are motivated to exercise their franchise and represent their political interests rather than youthful civic slackers who need to be reminded to “Wake the F–K Up” to vote. This in your face rhetoric might sell on the coasts, which are already solidly blue, but the tone might not be as readily accepted in purple much less red states. 

Thinking back to the last Presidential election, Obama Girl was able to generate outside energy for her man (at the time) for "I've Got a Crush on Obama" as well as conveying a hip image. The material alluded to risque themes but never succumbed to the temptation.

Viral campaigns need to be catchy, quickly communicate its message and reflect an unspoken impression in the electorate. This was one of the reasons that Clint Eastwood’s empty chair dialogue went viral so quickly after the Republican National Convention. People understood the empty chair dialogue as being a metaphor for an empty suit leader who continues for vote “Present” or lead from behind even as President. One of the more popular images took the iconic red/blue Hope and Change poster motif and depicted an empty chair. That empty chair meme dominated to political conversation for four days. In fact, it lead to a "happening" on Labor Day where people across the country put out empty chairs on their front yards.  And it did not require any Soros Super PAC money.  My visceral instinct is that "Wake the F--k Up"  campaign  will circulate in emails among the college crowd with an "LOL" and end there.

Mik Moore speaking for the JCRE promises more satirical stuff as the election approaches, including print ads in swing states and social media mini-memes. Supposedly, the JCRE will vaunt Obama’s record on Israel. Based on the content of “Wake the F–K Up”, that will be an interesting use of “independent” political resources. Maybe next time, the JCRE can spice things up and obtain some "Snakes on the Plane" for animus and inspiration.

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