Remember this Funny or Die video featuring President Barack Obama on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis? I would like to confess that I’ve seen it about 12 times myself since both the president and Galifianakis were absolutely brilliant with their back and forth banter and on the spot humour. I didn’t even mind that Obama was there to talk about Healthcare.gov which he was pushing at the time. (This was the part when Galifianakis sarcastically mutters, “Here we go. Let’s get this over with. What did you come here to plug?”)
I recently read that during the height of the video’s popularity, it was responsible for 40% of the traffic on the Healthcare.gov site. A whopping 40%. What a brilliant use of viral marketing to get the word out on something that would otherwise have been just another government initiative! The video was authentic and funny – so much so that you probably kept on watching even through the plug. Another great thing about the video was that they were so up front about what they were there to talk about. There was no subtly working the topic into the conversation, you knew it was coming – they made sure you knew but you probably kept on watching anyway!
Not only were they able to educate the viewers (while entertaining them too), the video was also able to prompt action. People were intrigued enough to click on the link or visit Healthcare.gov themselves. With so much information thrown our way everyday, Obama found a way to get the information across to millennials and even enticed them into action. We all knew the video was funny but now we also know that it worked!
Whoever thought of putting the president on a Funny or Die video was brilliant! Showing off Obama’s funny side, paired with Galifianakis in the perfect setting, targeting the “invincible” demographic, choosing Funny or Die as partner and using the perfect platform for sharing – it was the perfect formula for a successful viral campaign. I am really, truly impressed!
Don’t know about you but I wouldn’t mind another sequel (Obama and Galifianakis yes; Hangover 4? No thanks).