What Obama’s Funny or Die Appearance Says about Video Marketing in Health Care

The Background

To encourage younger people to sign up for Obamacare , President Obama appeared on Funny or Die’s web series “Between Two Ferns”. With the March 31 enrollment deadline quickly approaching, the appearance is another tactic launched by the Obama Administration to specifically market to younger people , this time through video marketing. By appearing on a video series that is frequented by younger people, the Obama Administration hopes to increase the less-than-stellar 25 percent enrollment rate for people under 35. 

The Numbers

The appearance has been met with controversy. Some have criticized Obama for “demeaning” himself by marketing through a comedy skit. However, White House press secretary Jay Carney has touted the appearance as a success. Here is a timeline of the events surrounding the video:

  • March 11: Video premiered on Funny or Die’s website
  • Within hours of its posting, the video garnered 3 million views. It is currently the #1 source of referrals for the Healthcare.gov website. [source]
  • More than 890,000 Americans visited the site. Traffic went almost 40 percent compared to the day before.  [source]
  • March 13: There were 198,000 calls placed to the ACA call center. [source]
  • March 14: The video has 15 million views. [source].
  • It is the second-most viewed video of the series. However, it is quickly on its way to being the most viewed video.   [source]
  • March 15 – 16: 130,000 calls  were placed to the ACA call center. [source]

The Takeaway

This campaign acts as a precedence for health care  companies to explore video marketing. Despite objections, online video marketing has several benefits:

  • Recyclability: Videos now have a niche in media. These viral videos can easily be turned into clips, and redistributed to a larger and new audience via television. Many news stations have coverage specifically set aside for popular and trending videos.
  • Free Advertising: Viral videos are the equivalent to word of mouth in a digital climate. Redistribution of these videos can be equated to free and/or effective advertisement. While not everyone who viewed the video will enroll, people often share videos via social media to people who they think will get use out of the message, or just may find it interesting.
  • Increased Engagement: Watching videos requires a specific level of engagement that rivals print advertising. Through online videos, marketers can mention talking points and follow-up information in a manner that seems more organic and less overwhelming to the consumer, but still leave an impression.