The progression of a modern campaign is a double-edged sword–especially whether or not you’re as serious as Basil Marceaux.
But how serious can the failed Tennessee gubernatorial candidate be when he admits that every video and appearance were meant to be surreal moments in a political culture? The Washington Post takes on a postmortem about Marceaux’ stint in the Internet’s consciousness, from his notable video above to stints on The Colbert Report and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In short, Marceaux was the perfect candidate for “the typing public” according to WaPo, because he represented something so outlandish and quotable that it would perfectly fill deadlines for the next two weeks.
Literally, it turns out, since the meme who would be governor spent a grand total of 15 days before losing the primary with some 3,000 votes. As a trending topic on BuzzFeed, a user wrote: “I’m all about the Democratic process, but Basil Marceaux is definitely some sort of elaborate performance art.”
As WHC Insider previously wrote about controlling online campaign brands it can be incredibly daunting to tread the viral line. And Marceaux’ admission that his mistakes were “perfect” shows the duality of changing media perception. A viral video will get you placement on prominent sites like AOL’s Asylum and Urlesque, but at the cost of respectability and your message.
As we said before, it can’t hurt to have a talked-about meme spout from your campaign, but you have to be able to exert full control over it. Or else you’ll be nothing more than a one-note punchline revisited once a week purely to spurn SEO on–as the Post notes–an “infotainment site.”
And that is a horribly lazy new media term.