Time for T-Paw to re-think video strategy?

For the most part, Tim Pawlenty has done a good job of using YouTube.  His team clearly understand the online video medium as a unique communications vehicle, rather than as a place to warehouse TV ads.  Pawlenty and Co. use video often, and the videos are stylistically consistent.

But this video, entitled “Behind-the-scenes at Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s announcement in Des Moines, IA” and posted last week, is a bit disappointing:

That’s not a “Behind the Scenes” video.  Those are actual scenes.  There are clips of the speech and clips from the media coverage of Pawlenty’s announcement, but no candid moments from the candidate.  The best part of the video is a mere ten-second stretch featuring Pawlenty supporters explaining their support.

Now imagine this as the “behind-the-scenes” video” instead:  60 seconds of people in the Pawlenty crowd talking about why they came out to support T-Paw, cut with pictures of homemade signs, and maybe even ten seconds of the candidate talking with supporters in a handshake line.  There would be no music and no voice-overs.

Tim Pawlenty is going to spend the next few months juxtaposed against two incredibly polished professional politicians in Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.  He will need to be able to contrast himself from both.  His videos are not bad, but standing alone they will give the impression that Pawlenty is trying to out-Romney Romney or out-Obama Obama.  If he tries to be someone he is not, Pawlenty will lose his fight for the nomination.

In a campaign where he constantly reiterates the need for honesty and sincerity, Pawlenty would be wise to let some of that come out – and let his videos create a mood rather than a separation between him and the voters.

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