News: Wall St. Journal has an interesting look at the effect YouTube has had on the presidential campaigns. The negative ad for “Hillary 1984” accounted for 75% of all candidate-related videos on YT in March. John McCain joking about “Bomb Iran” also drew much attention to him. John Edwards drew the 3rd most viewers, largely in part of the negative ad making fun of his hair. The campaign videos prepared by the candidates themselves don’t generate nearly as many views.
Analysis: This confirms something that we probably already knew: “Swift boat” attack ads work, at least in terms of generating views. Negative ads are decried, but they still capture much attention. With YouTube, now anybody with a computer can make a negative ad. That’s probably not a good thing. Steve Bryant at the NewTeeVee blog has some insightful comments.