by Gary North
I will now show you a neat little trick. The general public doesn't yet understand what I am about to show you. Neither do your competitors. Got that concept? NEITHER DO YOUR COMPETITORS. I will explain this later in my report.
But first. . . .
Go to Google. Type in "Hillary." There are over 32,000,000 hits.
Next, look at the top of the Google screen. Look for VIDEO.
See it? Click it.
Look what's at the top of the list. And not just at the top of the page — all the way down.
Watch it. Just click the image. It's called "Vote Different."
It won't take you very long. It is worth every second.
This video is a re-make of the 1984 Apple Macintosh ad. It turns Hillary Clinton into Big Sister.
The bulk of this "Vote Different" video was originally produced by Ridley Scott, of "Blade Runner" (1982) fame. The re-make was done anonymously. The creator did not get permission from Scott, but Scott has yet to threaten a lawsuit, nor has Apple. This in itself is revealing.
The creator posted the video on YouTube. It immediately took off. Within hours, it was being forwarded by the tens of thousands of delighted viewers. Today, it is almost four million downloads, if you count all of the postings of the video.
This practical joke will cost Ms. Clinton a lot of votes. Every time her campaign posts another talking head video, with the lady mouthing platitudes — which is what talking head ads do — what she is saying will not register with viewers who have seen "Vote Different." They will recall the images of the "Vote Different" ad. They will start giggling.
A politician whose would-be supporters giggle at her campaign ads is in big trouble.
There is probably nothing effective that she or her handlers can do about this giggle effect. She has remained discreetly silent about this video. Her handlers have obviously warned her that to fight back against a joke video will only make her look petty. Because she already has a reputation for being industrial-strength petty, this is good advice. But the downloads keep increasing. The phenomenon keeps growing. At the end, the video promotes Obama. This didn't cost Obama a dime.
The producer had been working for Blue State Digital, a company that sells technology to presidential campaigns, including Obama's. The producer resigned when his authorship was about to be exposed.
He claims that he produced the video on his own time, and that he did it with off-the-shelf software. Obama said he had nothing to do with it. He said his staff did not have the technical savvy to produce such a video. That is probably true. At least, Obama doesn't know such a person on his staff. But that person may exist, and surely he or she exists among his followers. Dozens of them do. Maybe hundreds.
A significant fact is this: The limiting factor is no longer the price of software, which is cheap, but the multiple skills — creativity, humor, and editing — to put the software to this kind of use.
Another significant fact is this: The number of teenagers with this degree of computer savvy is high and growing higher.
Years ago, researchers discovered the obvious: About 20% of teenagers in high schools with computers have the ability to be power users. This is standard Pareto's Law (20/80) stuff, and it works as the researchers probably expected. I read about that research finding at least 15 years ago. You can imagine how many teenagers — and young adults — have these skills today.
Because of YouTube, literally millions of teenagers are being exposed to the possibility getting into YouTube/video production. They now have an incentive to upload videos for free. "Hey! Look what I did!" Most uploads are junk and never get viewed. But a few are just as creative as "Vote Different."
Before I discuss how you can apply this to your business, let me show you why this video is bad news for incumbent politicians all over the world.
Over four decades ago, an ad man ran for the California State legislature. His name was H. L. "Bill" Richardson. He was the author of a book, Slightly to the Right. He won the election. He kept winning elections.
He brought his talents as an ad man to his office. He launched an organization called Gun Owners of America. His goal was to retain political support for gun ownership.
Very early, he learned a lesson: Politicians respond to pain. He began putting this to use. He would find some colleague in the legislature who was in favor of gun control. Maybe the man was in a district where his constituents agreed with him on gun control. Richardson's goal was to get him to reverse his vote on gun control.
He would find out what position the guy voted for where his constituents favored the opposite position. Maybe the guy had quietly opposed something near and dear to the hearts of his constituents. It did not matter what this position was, as far as Richardson was concerned. He would start a direct-mail campaign in the guy's district in an election year. The letter exposed the guy's vote on the position that made him vulnerable. Richardson knew how the guy voted because he was a colleague.
The guy knew who was doing it. So, he would come to Richardson, frantic. "Stop these mailings, please!" Richardson would then make him an offer he could not refuse. "Switch your vote on gun control." Quid pro quo. The guy would usually switch. He really didn't care that much about gun control, nor did his constituents. He really cared about getting re-elected.
This would not work with a hard-liner on gun control. It would work on the vaguely committed politician. Richardson was looking for half-committed politicians who could be pressured on this one issue, which was Richardson's career hot button. He could swing enough politicians to stop gun control bills he opposed.
Over twenty years ago, I did a 90-minute taped interview with him. One of the points he made was this: Politicians respond to pain. They are not usually committed to anything other than their careers. On non-crucial issues, they can be pressured to switch if you can impose enough pain.
THE POSITIVE POWER OF A NEGATIVE VIDEO
Richardson in the mid-1980's spotted a possibility. He wanted to defeat a woman who sat on the California State Supreme Court. Her name was Rose Bird. She was Chief Justice.
In California, a Supreme Court justice is appointed by the Governor but must be re-confirmed by the voters.
In 1986, she was defeated. No Supreme Court justice had ever been defeated before. But it didn't stop there. Two of her fellow liberals lost, too. This was simply unbelievable. The governor, Dukmejian, was a conservative. He got to appoint three new justices as a result.
Richardson engineered this. He did it with a videotape. In those days, video recorders were becoming a hot item. They began selling around 1979. By 1986, there were enough people who owned them to be a factor in an election, but the technology was not so common that video technology was widely used in political campaigns. It was still too expensive to buy tapes and mail them.
Richardson produced an anti-Bird video and started mailing it. He asked for donations to continue the mailings. He mailed to conservative lists initially.
That video got the anti-Bird ball rolling. Bird began to appear to be politically vulnerable. That was what the initial mailing was intended to do: expose her as vulnerable. More anti-Bird organizations were established by others who wanted her off the Court. Then, close to the election in November, TV ads started appearing. The campaign was successful.
Richardson gets my vote as the feistiest retired politician in America. Visit his blog site here: http://senhlr.blogspot.com
UPDATING RICHARDSON'S STRATEGY
Today, DVD's are far cheaper to produce and cheaper to mail than a videotape was in 1986. YouTube is cheaper still.
Consider an updated version of Richardson's strategy. Your research identifies a district's hot buttons. You then select a vote where the targeted incumbent has voted the opposite way.
You produce a brief ad: 60 seconds. It tells what the guy has done, and it provides visible evidence: maybe a close-up of a vote record sheet. This is the proof of your accusation.
With a negative ad that says nothing about his opponent, you can produce this without informing the beneficiary.
You could also do a second video, longer and more detailed. You mention this at the end of your short video. Give its short-form address. Post this just before you post the short one.
You need short URLs for both ads. First, you post the first ad (longer) on YouTube or Google. Because addresses are long, as soon as it is posted, you go a URL-shortening service such as SnipURL (www.snipurl.com). You paste in the long URL. Then you can insert a catchy name. Snipurl produces two URL suffixes: a five letter/number one and the catchy one that you just entered. You can pick your choice.
Now you add this short address to the end of your short video. Then create a short URL link for the 60-second ad.
Design a post card that has a large grabbing headline:
Representative Snort voted to [opposite of voters' hot button].
See the proof here on this video:
If you want to stop him from ever doing this again,
don't vote for him this November.
If you mail the post cards with first class postage using physical stamps, Snort will not know who did it.
He is now on the defensive. He cannot blame his opponent and get away with it. The opponent will play Obama. "Me? My staff couldn't produce a video like this."
So, once it's on-line as a video — "Snort votes for [voters' negative hot topic]" — it is going to do its work from now until YouTube shuts down. If they search for "Snort" and [voters' hot negative topic] and click VIDEO, they will find it.
PUTTING THIS TO PROFITABLE USE
I have already shown you this. Let me demonstrate it again.
Go to Google. Type in this: "accredited colleges"
Click SEARCH. Look at the list of page links. There are 600,000 hits.
Now click VIDEO. Look who's number one! And number two!
And number three!
Click the top video. You'll see what I have in mind. This can serve as a working model for you.
The video is an ad. But it doesn't look like an ad. Notice what it does.
- It starts with a huge benefit.
- It has a website address on-screen at all times.
- It has a series of numbered points.
- This keeps the viewer looking for the next point.
- It has a specific action step mentioned frequently.
- It recommends this action step near the end.
- The end encourages him to forward the video.
The video gives a lot of information. This whets the viewer's appetite for the full story.
The video creates trust. This is important for every ad.
Think about this in your situation. What do you sell that takes a face-to-face meeting? You know how expensive your sales time is. What can you substitute for the preliminary meeting? A video, if it is well designed.
Once it's on-line, you can refer potential buyers to the video. This can be done with your business card, in a letter, on a postcard, or on a promotional flyer.
Every place where anyone can read your sales pitch, you can reinforce it with a video.
For more information on how you can do this with simple, cheap technology, click here: http://www.garynorth.com/public/1933.cfm
A political specialist with advanced video production skills inflicted a great deal of pain on Hillary Clinton. He did it in his spare time. It's the gift that keeps on giving . . . for Obama.
Find yourself a high school or community college video nerd. Hire him for $10 an hour to produce a promotional video for you. Maybe you want to learn how, just for fun. Set aside a Saturday or two and have him teach you. If you don't want to learn, just pay for services rendered.
March 28, 2007
Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com