Thursday, March 11, 2010

"You" Video

And now for the next generation of bringing YOU into videos, check out the latest "Blue State" fund-raising appeal from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), in partnership with and Brave New Films. Called "Glenn Beck Attacks," the campaign personalizes a video to include, well, you -- using a Facebook interface that "grabs" your photo with the click of your mouse.

The video caption reads: "Fox host Glenn Beck spent much of the last week claiming that a normal, everyday progressive was linked to Stalin, Elvis, Joe Biden's cousin, and the guy who came up with the idea of taxes."

But what's interesting here is not simply that the campaign is a digital send-up of Glenn Beck, the politics-of-paranoia purveyor that TIME Magazine has called "that pudgy, buzz-cut, weeping phenomenon of radio, TV and books." It's the technology, folks -- the ability to customize a video for millions, with the click of a mouse and a cause.

The interface adds your name and picture to a pseudo "newscast" but for those who wish [apparently depending on your level of political activism], the video can be personalized even further, to include one's hometown, friends' names, employer, and so forth.

Have a look by clicking on and walk through the paces:

Is this the next generation of political advertising -- the experiential LOL version that can be just as easily used by a children-in-poverty group to rail against homelessness or child-trafficking, or by other groups to, say, put donors "on the spot?" The site advises people to worry not: "This video and site are fictional and satirical," it says.

What do you think? Is this campaign going to go viral or does it run the risk of scaring off potential donors? And regardless, what applications might there be here for your cause? The technology is here, folks -- regardless. Let us hear from you.

(Illustration by Matt Hertel for

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