Bernie Sanders campaign ad ‘America’ has reached over 3 million views on YouTube, but I suspect that as a TV ad it has deeply effected many more voters.
I first came across the ad in late January when I saw a few people from across the pond sharing it, but I only watched about 20 seconds before exiting.
I was genuinely surprised that smart people I was following seemed to be ‘feeling the Bern’ so strongly that they would share a seemingly dry video that overused stock-looking footage.
I should have just been a little bit more patient, as the very same film which I was so eager to dismiss has since gone viral and become the candidates most popular official video.
It turns out that at about 30 seconds into the minute long ad, the editors have cleverly used a combination of uplifting crowd scenes and audio engineering to stimulate a sense of euphoria and ecstasy from viewers.
There isn’t a single word spoken in the entire 60 seconds. Nor is there a narrative or any characterisation of any significance. And yet somehow they’ve created a hugely emotive and inspiring commercial.
It was definitely created as a TV spot, rather than a video to generate a viral response. It fails miserably in the ‘grab the viewers attention in the first 3 second’ test; a measure which is vital to getting people to stick with a film on Facebook or YouTube.
But like many of the great longer length TV commercials, it builds into a wonderful crescendo and leaves a lasting impression.
As well as the patriotic music, the inclusion of the candidate’s smiling face at the end of the spot is a lovely way to finish and will help dispel attacks from Clinton et al that Sanders is a demon socialist intent on destroying the USA.