Even the President Talks to YouTube Influencers Now

The event scored headlines, but was it a win overall?

You’re certainly aware that President Obama had a conversation with three YouTube “stars” yesterday. The event earned lots of headlines and showed us, as Edelman’s David Armano put it, “How Team Obama Masters Modern Media” despite the fact that viewership for the State of the Union dropped to a 15-year low.

You may be shocked to learn that Bethany Mota, a California teenager with more than eight million subscribers who vlogs about “hair, makeup, fashion, DIY projects, and basically anything that I love,” was not too interested in politics before the event. The interesting part starts around 37:55:

It’s a fairly basic, if compelling, argument for everyone to participate in politics, no matter how distasteful it may be. Obama even simplifies it via analogy: voting is like figuring out which movie you and your friends want to see, and its necessary even if it’s messy and may hurt some feelings.

Of course, this came amidst other, less relevant questions like which superpower Obama would choose…and the President’s critics saw it as yet another sign of his lack of legitimacy.

But they weren’t the target audience anyway.

What do we think of the event overall? PR win or another failed attempt to reach a disengaged public?