By announcing her campaign for president in a YouTube video Sunday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed to show she’s learned a lesson from big-brand CEOs: If you say it in an online video instead of at a live event, it’s easier to control the message.
For some of Clinton’s critics, that’s the problem.
In a column on The Atlantic‘s website , writer Conor Friedersdorf opined that Clinton’s announcement had “corporate style” and “little substance.” Friedersdorf said he initially thought he was watching a pre-video ad when Clinton’s video began:
At the one-minute mark I began to wonder, “What is this ad even for? An investment bank? A health insurer? Windows 9?” After 90 seconds I was genuinely curious. And that’s when I heard the former secretary of state’s voice and realized what was going on: I was already watching Hillary’s announcement video.
Clinton also released an announcement video for her 2008 campaign, but that feels a lot more like a political speech, with Clinton rattling off a list of specific issues that would be her top priorities. In her new video, “The production values are much better. But it says a lot less,” Friedersdorf writes. He adds, “Every sentence could’ve been uttered by any politician.”
Clinton’s new campaign logo also has a corporate feel to it. It has generated some complaints and comparisons on social media.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 12, 2015
Hillary Clinton’s logo looks like a street sign telling you the hospital is to the right.
— Yousef Munayyer (@YousefMunayyer) April 12, 2015
Hillary campaign logo = FedEx + The Who pic.twitter.com/TMEINpjRNd
— Kristie Lu Stout CNN (@klustout) April 13, 2015
Savvy first move by Hillary. The biggest knock on her is she’s too elitist, so she’s like, “Boom, let’s make the campaign logo in MS Paint.”
— Aaron Levie (@levie) April 13, 2015
Plus, even with a more corporate approach, it’s still impossible to control everything. The hashtag #WhyImNotVotingForHillary was trending on Twitter on Sunday. The YouTube comments thread for Clinton’s video (which surprisingly is open) is loaded with critics and advocates for Clinton’s opponents, both Republican and Democratic.
How would you rate Clinton’s announcement approach?