The hilarious President Obama and Zach Galifiankis interview skit, which was posted Tuesday morning, received the ideal reactions from a viral video, laughter and discussion. Galifianakis is comedic gold and has used his talents to talk with big names on his show Between Two Ferns, which is sponsored by the popular Funny or Die website. President Obama grabbed the opportunity to discuss healthcare reform on Galifianakis’ show, through comedy, in order to appeal to the Millennial generation.
President Obama’s appearance on the talk show has bumped traffic to Healthcare.gov. Additionally, Tuesday’s traffic to Healthcare.gov was almost 40% over Monday’s traffic, according to an article posted by USA Today. The new age of politics has arrived, and media strategies like this one is for the books. According to a Tweet sent by Tara McGuinness, the White House Advisor, Funny or Die was the number one source of referrals to Healthcare.gov. It was also stated in the article written by USA Today that as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 32,000 referrals came from Funny or Die. At the end of the day, more than 54,000 referrals and to Healthcare.gov came from the Funny or Die Website and there were 575,000 site visits (Lee, 2104).
President Obama has dialed in on gaining support from the younger audiences, and he has added a new flair to the usual, and predictable, Presidential role when promoting political topics and reforms. However, there are some skeptics that wonder if President Obama is taking it too far with his approach to target the Millennials. Ken Wheaton wrote an article for Advertising Age to reflect on President Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns. He wrote, “Doesn’t the president have better things to do with his time than, once again, sucking up to Gen Xers and Millennials for some cool cred? You know who’s not impressed by cool cred? Vladimir Putin” (Wheaton 2014). Wheaton is right, to an extent. President Obama’s administration knows who they need to target, and made a smart marketing move by going to a place where the young generation is. Online.
Wheaton goes on to say, “If you consider yourself a marketing professional, watch the video for what it is: a six-minute ad. And then go to Facebook or Twitter to see how many likes and shares this is getting from the youth. Would it be better if Healthcare.gov was trending? Absolutely. But at the very least the message is finally hitting the right target” (Wheaton 2014).
What do you think? Is this a smart marketing strategy for the Obama administration?
Lee, J. (2014, March 12). Healthcare.gov gets traffic boost after Obama’s ‘Funny or Die’ video. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/03/12/healthcare-obamabetween-two-ferns/6319483/
Keras, K. (2014, March 11). Zach galifinakis and preseident barack obama between two ferns. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wGN-lbd7Ss
Wheaton, K. (2014, March 11). Worth It: Obama Subjects Himself to ‘Between Two Ferns’. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://adage.com/article/adreview/Obamasubjects-funny-die-s-ferns/292105/