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McCain Enviro Ad Goes Viral

Timed to coincide with his proposed tax credits for low-emissions car and a $300-million prize for the inventor of a super-efficient car battery, Sen. John McCain is going viral with its latest web-only ad.

The minute-long video, titled "Energy Security," features clips from McCain’s speech on energy policy last week in Houston. He declares that "we must shift our entire economy toward new and cleaner power sources, such as wind, solar and coal." Throughout his voiceover, images of oil rigs, dessicated landscapes linked to climate change and a photo of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad embracing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez illustrate the threat posed by U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Production Notes: So it appears somebody at the McCain camp finally realized that you can use YouTube to advertise for free and reach young voters — whom recent polls show are concerned about the economy, the environment and energy independence. Unfortunately for McCain campaign, the video has little to attract attention. Anyone who remembers last year’s "1984" mashup, that targeted Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, knows that the most effective viral videos are smart, edgy and often controversial. Failing that, they should at least feature popular musicians and celebrities à la will.i.am’s "Yes We Can" video on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama. This new video has all the excitement and edginess of any other campaign ad you’ve seen a million times. It’s hard to imagine many people forwarding it to all their friends.

The McCain campaign is smart to try to let YouTube do some of its legwork to reach younger voters. Now it just has to try harder.

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