Last week, it was reported that the unofficial start of the Obama 2012 campaign has begun. Naturally, the stakes will be very high, and the need for innovative methods in reaching young, possibly disenchanted, supporters will be vital. And in fact, on the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union address last week; a preview of such unexpected strategy just may have been revealed. Obama managed to pinpoint specific elements of his televised address to a targeted demographic via an unlikely platform, the social network MySpace. It is an interesting move because while most in the tech industry have pronounced the death of this company for quite a while, it is undeniable that the platform still seems to strongly resonate with music content producers and their fans. Understanding this as its sole source of strength, MySpace has recently partnered with celebrated figures within music to curate special programming (i.e. “hijacking”) to increase the social network’s relevancy, brand and visibility. It is through its partnership with hip hop notable Russell Simmons that President Obama’s exclusive message became part of Simmons’ MySpace “hijack” legacy.
While touted by many, certain politicos have an interesting perspective on the move’s impact on the younger U.S. demographic. “I love Russell’s passion for wanting to getting everyone involved in the political process! It is clear right now that the rules on how to reach out and engage folks are changing as fast as the information you see flashing up on your Twitter timeline! It’s important, but I don’t know if it makes a real difference, because the voices leading this new conversation are not moved by “big-name” endorsements,” explains Leroy Jones, national Political Commentator & Analyst, and the host of The PoliticalJones Report with Leroy Jones, Jr. on American Urban Radio Networks (AURN). “When you have a generation,” Jones, continues, “who knows that they may never do better or equal to their parents, then that generation has a choice. They either give up or fight. They are questioning everything. These young people understand that the keepers of the status quo or the current leadership will do anything they can to keep their power. They hear all the talk of paying dues, and waiting their turn. They don’t buy it. Young people both here in the U.S. and around the world can see that some people think they are entitled to power and access, but this generation is having none of that! Right now these ‘young folks’ are reminding everyone that the real power is having the ability to create and make real changes in people’s daily lives. It’s their time, and you are either with them or against them!”
Perhaps so because according to Pew Research Center, not only has the younger demographic shifted from predominant Democratic party identification since Obama’s tenure but also while 42% say government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. One thing is certain, crafting and reaching the right demographic over the right platforms at the right time will take more political savvy than ever in our history. Read the full Obama statement here: http://www.myspace.com/everything/article/2011/01/27/an-exclusive-message-from-russell-simmons-and-president-barack-obama <http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=p8xny8bab&t=teqfypeab.0.wypbwpeab.p8xny8bab.9985&ts=S0583&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myspace.com%2Feverything%2Farticle%2F2011%2F01%2F27%2Fan-exclusive-message-from-russell-simmons-and-president-barack-obama> Follow Lauren on Twitter@mediaempress
Follow Lauren on Twitter@mediaempress