Obama Youtubes ‘The Little Things’ for Michigan Turnout
The Obama campaign just released a new YouTube video to recruit volunteers in Michigan, a left-leaning swing state where McCain retains very high favorable ratings. The video is filled with unglamorous scenes of daily campaign life. Young staffers collect voter registration cards by hand, approach strangers with clipboards and talk about why they’re donating their time to the campaign. "It’s the little things that matter," explains one unnamed volunteer. Activists and local politicians are shown addressing small crowds, while several volunteers plead, straight to camera, for Michiganders to sign up as "team leaders." Sen. Barack Obama never appears on camera.
The recruitment video also shows how the Obama campaign is adroitly deploying celebrity surrogates for organizing tasks, rather than media exposure. Kal Penn, the comic actor who headlined "Escape from Guantanamo," is used as bait to stop people on the street for voter registration. In the run-up to the Iowa caucus, the campaign took a similar tack with actress Scarlett Johansson, who was mostly shielded from the press but ferried to grass-roots events with young voters.
PRODUCTION NOTES: Compared to campaign ads, this is a sprawling production, with longer soundbites and textured scenes across Michigan. The tone is practical yet reverent, celebrating volunteers as the backbone of the organization — and giving them equal billing with local party officials and politicians.