New England hasn’t seen an upset like Scott Brown’s win since Superbowl 42 – and much of the credit deservedly goes to his campaign’s ability to harness support from Republicans across the country through online organizing and remote phone banks. Compare that to the other online campaign making news lately: the “I’m with CoCo” movement supporting deposed Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien.
While O’Brien cleverly positioned himself to the People of Earth, the online effort to build support has not been effective – even though it has translated to angry mobs descending on NBC affiliates calling on O’Brien to keep his current gig. The shortcoming? The online movement – which appears largely viewer-generated – isn’t focusing on activities which will affect NBC’s bottom line.
Scott Brown’s online efforts were all geared to mobilize voters and volunteers who could drive more voters to the polls. Outside of fraud and cheating, winning more voters is the easiest way to win an election.
NBC counts votes in two ways: ratings and, more importantly, advertising dollars. A more effective CoCo Movement might target Tonight Show advertisers, warning them of boycotts. A well-publicized action against a current Jay Leno sponsor might be a good shot across the bow.
Johnny Carson’s old chair is not “The People’s Seat.” Rallies and large Facebook groups may snag short-term media attention, but NBC feels like they can win more “votes” with Jay Leno behind the Tonight Show desk and until the CoCo movement translates into viewers and dollars, nothing will dissuade them.