Why Obama’s ‘Between Two Ferns’ Appearance Was a Good Idea

You’re probably aware that President Obama appeared on the latest episode of the Funny or Die series with the fat Greek guy from The Hangover. We will make a completely random guesstimate that 60% of our friends shared it on social this morning.

As for the why: 850,000 views in a few hours is a pretty good reason—as is the fact that Millennials are the demographic least likely to go out of their way to sign up for health insurance.

The New York Times calls it the administration’s “latest public relations gamble“, but was it, really?

Lots of people are rightly amused by the big “reveal” and Obama’s multiple digs at the Hangover series, but we’re more impressed by his suggestion that ‘BTF’ itself has dipped in quality and that Bradley Cooper’s episode was funnier. For once, the awkwardness doesn’t feel forced at all. Obama seems genuinely unimpressed (and yes, we’re aware that he almost certainly didn’t write these lines).

Will the people who hate the president’s health care law most see this clip and change their minds? Of course not.

The point, really, is that this appearance was far more valuable than any Sunday morning show discussion could be, no matter what Obama’s opponents think. We all know that the key to successful communications is to deliver the message to the right audience in the best possible format, which for young people does not mean “Sunday morning on NBC with David Gregory.”

Here’s the key quote from the show’s executive producer, whose team approached the White House to schedule this shoot.

“I have to give the president credit that they were willing to trust us. They were definitely easier than working with most Hollywood publicists.”

Translation: this appearance was both more valuable and more entertaining than a guest spot on Glee.