WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., January 12, 2013 – Ever wonder where the next generation of voters gets its political information? Not surprisingly, a major source of political input for the pre-teen and teenage groups is YouTube.
YouTube offers a huge selection of speeches, documentaries and pundit commentaries on current events to help young Americans make decisions about important issues and shape their political ideologies.
But that isn’t what they are watching.
Never heard of CollegeHumor? Then you aren’t a pre-teen or teenage boy. While the “about” portion of the CollegeHumor web site says it is a leading online entertainment company targeting a core audience of people ages 18-49, it is causing mass hilarity among a much-younger crowd and clearly influencing the way young people think about the world.
Mitt Romney Style is a gangman parody that features an obviously wealthy Mitt Romney-like actor. It includes lyrics such as, “Affluence, Extravagance, That’s Mitt (hey), Yea that’s so Mitt” and “You should elect me because I got so much mon-ay, ay, ay, ay….”
The video doesn’t spare former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, whose appearance is accompanied by the lyrics, “I’m the vee pee nominee/yo budget I’ll be cuttin’/I got the eyes and body so you know I’m gon be struttin’/I’ll cut ya social safety net/you losers ain’t got nothin.”
So far on YouTube, the video has had more than 38,000,000 viewers.
Trust me, the teen and pre-teen crowds love this stuff.
Not surprisingly, “The Adventures of Kim Jong Un” are about, well, Kim Jong Un. There are actually three parts to this adventure, cleverly called Part I, Part II and Part III. If that’s not enough for you North Korea enthusiasts, you can watch “Kim Jong Un vs. Psy.” The tongue-in-cheek description calls the Adventures, “A leaked North Korean cartoon presenting the totally true triumphs of the totally not pudgy Great Leader.”
Good stuff, if you ask kids in the 13 to 19-year-old age group.
Our technology-savvy young Americans want a large dose of entertainment with their information, and CollegeHumor delivers it. The company was founded in 1999 and says it “…features extremely popular original content in addition to the day’s funniest and most offbeat content on the web.”
Nielsen/Net Ratings says the site has more than 100 million page views a month, and their monthly email newsletter has over 300,000 subscribers.
CollegeHumor reaches beyond the Web, with three books, “The CollegeHumor Guide to College,” “Faking It: How to seem like a better person without actually improving yourself” and “CollegeHumor: The Website.”
A completely informal survey shows that middle-school viewers not only find the web site entertaining but also informative. One notes, “At least I know who Kim Jong Un is now…he’s the pudgy guy who is in charge of North Korea.”
And as for Romney-style? A quorum of eight-graders, several of whom claim they would have voted for Romney in an election, note that the video “tells the truth” about Romney “having too much money.”
The company certainly provides content that resonates with a large group. Let’s just hope those watchers are also taking political information from unbiased sources, like…well….
Oh, by the way, do not watch the videos. Otherwise, you might find yourself distractedly singing, “Mitt…Mitt..Mitt…Mitt…Mitt Romney style.”