It is surprising the extent to which presidential candidates have embraced social networking during the current presidential campaign. All candidates maintain a Twitter as well as a public Facebook page. Most write regular blog updates and post campaign videos to their official Youtube channels. The candidates seem closer than ever to the voting public and it is as easy as a click of a mouse to get in contact with a particular candidate. You can directly ask a question or pose an opinion within a matter of minuets.
Mary Davis seems to have gone a step further in the race to embrace new media by releasing a series of viral videos through her Youtube channel. Each video lasts only 3 seconds and features a member of the public proclaiming, ‘I am Mary Davis’. The videos appear to support Mary’s platform of active citizenship and include the themes of inclusion and children as a main focus of her presidency. Men, women and children are all featured in the videos repeating the phrase in several different languages. All of the videos have a ‘guerilla feel’ to them and appear to be shot randomly on the street.
The videos seem to be a new and novel way to promote candidate marketing and may have been prompted by Mary’s recent participation in a Youth forum debate at the Dublin Contemporary Earlsfort Terrace exhibition site. The videos have been re-posted on Davis’s media outlets, including her Twitter and Facebook. Clearly an attempt to garner the youth vote, the videos have received limited viewings on Youtube itself, however they are beginning to be actively re-posted by several Davis’s supporters and are slowly gaining momentum.
Weather the videos will influence Mary Davis’s currently static, low standing still remains to be seen. Even after the youth forum Davis remained in second to last position among the young voters who attended. However there is still plenty of time before election day and some innovative people are beginning to see Davis’s short video tactic as a more environmentally friendly alternative to putting up election posters.