News: Go on eBay and search for “Barack Obama.” Guess what you’ll find? Some 14,454 items for sale! Merchandise with Barack Obama is a hot commodity. By comparison, Britney Spears merchandise only had 2,500 items. Justin Timberlake, only 751 items.
Analysis: Given the state of the U.S. economy and the Obama administration’s likely bailout (saving) of the auto industry, my earlier suggestion for the marketing of hybrid cars under the trademark “Obamamobiles” may not be so outlandish after all. It is unconventional, for sure, and some may say beneath the dignity of the President of the United States. But why is it any more questionable than the Obama campaign marketing T-shirts for donations to help pay the debt of the DNC? One of Barack Obama’s goals is to have the US auto industry make fuel efficient hybrid cars that can rival the Toyota Prius. If the U.S. gov’t takes a stake in GM and other US automakers, wouldn’t it be a huge marketing coup to sell the hybrid cars as “Obamamobiles,” better than the Batmobile! The U.S. gov’t could help pay down the debt with revenues generated from sales of the cars, while at the same time the U.S. auto industry would benefit, too.
By the way, if you’re wondering, “Obamamobile” has already found its way in the Urban Dictionary.
News: The US military has launched a beta site called TroopTube, which is basically a YouTube-like site for U.S. military.
Analysis: A nice way to keep military in touch with their families. The use of “TroopTube” is interesting, though. I wonder when trademark concerns becomes a problem for YouTube. We already have “GodTube” “WeGame,” and “YouPorn.” I wonder if a site could called itself “ITube” or “WeTube” or “MyTube,” without running into trademark problems.
Has YouTube turned Hollywood, or Google-like? — new sponsored ad video program + profressional contentNovember 12, 2008
News: In the past month, YouTube has announced several major initiatives in order to generate more revenues from the business-maligned video sharing site. YouTube has already announced several deals with Hollywood studios and content producers to feature “premium” content on YouTube, much like the FOX-NBC Universal site hulu. YT will also deploy live event webcasting. Today, YouTube has announced a “sponsored video” program that allows advertisers to pick videos on YouTube for their ads, with keyword searchability. A YT user can enter search terms on YT and then “sponsored videos” will be given notice along with other entries, just as in a Google search. (More) YouTube even set up an Advertising channel for itself.
Analysis: Brilliant move. Instead of having to have your video “go viral” on YouTube, you can now just pay money and get a better chance of getting noticed. This “sponsored video” program sounds like a moneymaker.
Review: Chef Jeremy Fox has been named as 2008 Best New Chef by Food and Wine Magazine and 2008 Best Chef by San Francisco Magazine. He is one of the best young chefs in the country. His restaurant is Ubuntu, a vegetarian restaurant, in Napa. The restaurant is unique in that it has a yoga studio in it. Check it out.
News: Barack Obama is still posting vids on his YouTube channel, or, at least, his people are. It’s tantalizing to think that a President Obama will be posting videos regularly on YouTube. Can you imagine that?
YouTube developing its business plan; strikes deals with MGM, Lionsgate, CBS, + European Fremantle to show full length movies and showsNovember 11, 2008
News: YouTube is striking more content deals with Hollywood — MGM, Lionsgate, CBS, + European Fremantle — to show full length shows and movies on YouTube. Rumors are that YouTube is seeking similar deals with Sony and Time Warner. (More)
Analysis: It will be very interesting to see if YouTube settles its lawsuit with Viacom (and the class action). As the economy tightens, YouTube may become more focused on business development and generating revenues. On the other hand, getting a judgment on the DMCA safe harbor, if successful, would be worth a lot to YT.
Is Barack Obama the next Google? — the Obama brand and effect on the US economy–U.S. newspaper sales soarNovember 10, 2008
News: It turns out the news of the death of newspapers, in the Internet age, has been greatly exaggerated. At least for one day, newspapers have been flying off the stands, with several extra printings necessary to meet demand. The reason: people want to collect the newspapers as historical memorabilia of Barack Obama’s election. Copies of the New York Times are selling for $100 on eBay. (More from Bloomberg)
Analysis: This makes me wonder what other parts of the economy the Barack Obama brand could help revive. Clothing sales? Hart Schaffner suits? T-shirts? Basketball shoes? Posters? Buttons? Movies? Artwork? Cologne? Puppy sales?
Certainly, the economies of Denver, Colorado, and Chicago, Illinois benefited a great deal from Obama’s major convention and post-election speeches, including hotel, travel, restaurants, and other local businesses. And the greater D.C. area will have a financial boon with the Inauguration on January 20, as all hotels may already be sold out and charging exorbitant prices for the Inauguration period.
I wonder if there’s any ethical or legal rule against President-elect Obama using his name on a new hybrid car — the “Obamamobile“–with a cut of the proceeds going to the U.S. government to help bring down the debt. This all may sound pretty fanciful, but I have no doubt that “Barack Obama” serves as a powerful brand today. Obama’s campaign operation was like a hot startup company in Silicon Valley, raising oodles of capital (over $600 million) and attracting devoted followers. If Barack Obama were himself a business, he could be the next Google.
One of the best speeches John McCain gave during the Election. Despite the booing by some of McCain’s supporters at the mention of Barack Obama’s name, which McCain quickly squelched, this was a very classy speech. We all owe a debt of gratitude to McCain for his years of service. It’s hard not to wonder what would have happened had he won the Republican nomination in 2000, when the Straight Talk Express was running and when McCain was not aligned with George W. Bush.
News: AP has images of Barack Obama, with family, as they watched the returns on Election Night. Everyone seems very calm in these photos.
News: Esmee Denters, the teen singing sensation discovered on YouTube, will be performing in San Francisco at YouTube Live 2008. For more about Esmee, click here for all of my posts about her.
Obama Celebration video of Grant Park at moment Obama wins presidency, 11 p.m. on 11/4/08 = pandemoniumNovember 9, 2008