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McCain Closes YouTube Gap

It’s no secret that Sen. Barack Obama has long dominated his rival, Sen. John McCain on YouTube, in terms of the number of videos and views each candidate receives. However, The Washington Times reports that the McCain campaign’s recent advertising offensive — particularly the ad that linked Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears — has drawn more viewers to McCain’s YouTube page than Obama’s every day for the last week.****

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Over the past two weeks, [McCain's] “celebrity” attacks have stomped Democratic presidential opponent Sen. Barack Obama in YouTube hits.

Mr. McCain has pumped out a series of brutal yet entertaining attack ads and Web videos mocking the press and Mr. Obama, and the combination of wit and insult has pushed his YouTube channel to the sixth most watched on the site this week. Mr. McCain has beat Mr. Obama’s channel for seven straight days and 11 of the past 14 days, in a signal he intends to compete for the YouTube vote.

That is a giant reversal. Mr. Obama had been quadrupling Mr. McCain’s YouTube views and beat him every day since February, according to TubeMogul, which tracks online video viewing.

So not only did McCain’s edgy advertising dominate the news coverage last week, it appears to have also allowed McCain to achieve a form of online parity with Obama — at least temporarily. YouTube has the added benefits of being free, and its users cross all demographics. In 2006 — granted, a long time ago, and the numbers may have changed somewhat — three different surveys found that the bulk of the Website’s users fell between the ages of 35 and 64. This is also the largest voting age bracket, spanning Gen X-ers to Baby Boomers. If inflammatory ads are what it takes to get people to pay attention to the McCain campaign — particularly online, where it doesn’t cost anything to air them — then we can probably expect a lot more.****

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