What is New Video?

“New Video” is a new term meant to describe the rapidly evolving video, TV, and other multimedia landscape of recent years. This New Video framework picked up steam in the middle of this decade, with the convergence of several events:

•New Video Production Technologies: the introduction of low cost HD cameras/formats like HDV, and post-production technologies such as Final Cut Stdio.
• New Distribution Technologies: i.e. web video, especially YouTube
• The New News Media: the emergence of the blogosphere – both the non-corporate/partisan blogosphere, and the “Old Media” blogosphere and corporate blogosphere (Politico, etc)

Two other important parts of the New Video story:

New Video Political Uses: Video increasingly is more than a public medium for persuasion; it also increasingly has other uses, for fundraising, research, training, etc.
Americans’ Video Literacy: Increasingly, many Americans have access to basic video technology and skills – basic shooting, editing, uploading to YouTube, etc.


In the Old Video framework1, video in its many forms – TV ads, broadcast news, Web Videos – have been thought of in their own unique and separate silos. This “silo-ization” of video applies not only to video “genres” but to production media, personnel, and video strategy:

As we are seeing on a daily basis, these “silos” are increasing overlapping, and the lines dividing them are increasingly blurring. TV ads can have a major impact on the Web in addition to TV; Web Videos can have major impact, attract earned media, and even become part of a broadcast spot; and media monitoring & tracking, always important, have become an essential, not optional, tool in campaigns.


New Video is a great tool for Democrats, but it is also being used aggressively by Republicans, Teabaggers and other opponents:

HOSTILE CAMERAS EVERYWHERE: every cellphone is a potential video camera; every video camera looking for a potential macaca moment. the proliferation of blogs, media blogs (Politico, etc.) and YouTube has opened up the possibility not only of “fair” macaca moments, but potenially manipulated videos – like the the ACORN videos.

CAMERAS ARE TEABAGGER MAGNETS – ESPECIALLY IN 2010: Finally, the August town halls showed that disrupters are going to be more aggressive than ever at campaign events, etc. given the attractive nuisance of cameras – and the chance of getting 15 minutes of “Teabagger” fame.

This is new. And this requires the new “Defensive Video” strategies that Senators and others already employed in August, etc. But as the campaign heats up, Defensive Video will have to be given more resources, become more sophisticated, better coordinated, and faster, as discussed below.

1 The Old Video framework has evolved, but not radically changed, since the introduction of the Beta SP camera and the proliferation of independent TV expenditures in the early 1980s. You could also pin the “Old Video” era back to 1964 and the Daisy ad; and of course there was a major evolution in terms of volume during the big soft money cycles of ‘94-’00.


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