President Barack Obama has pulled off something seemingly unfathomable: He’s managed to make the Affordable Care Act look cool.
In a video released Tuesday morning on comedy site Funny Or Die, comedian Zach Galifianakis interviews the President on his video show “Between the Ferns” on various inane topics like his policy on “North Ikea” and pardoning turkeys. A few minutes before the mock interview ends, Obama spends a couple minutes plugging the once-glitch-ridden website HealthCare.gov and explaining why young adults need to sign up for Obamacare before the March 31 enrollment deadline.
The Funny or Die video quickly went viral, getting more than 3 million views in the first few hours, according to Hollywood Reporter. The video’s viral success sheds some light on how to connect with audiences through social media:
1. Know your audience. The Obama administration particularly needs to convince young adults to sign up for Obamacare. They are the ones most likely to forego buying health insurance because they think they won’t need it. The administration found perhaps the ideal place to connect with that age group by choosing the comic site Funny or Die and deadpan comedian Galifianakis. The backstory is interesting: The interview was planned months ago by senior White House advisors who were looking for a way to connect with the 18- to 34-year-old crowd about the importance of signing up for Obamacare, according to CNN.com.
2. Surprise is powerful. Zach Galifinakis is no Piers Morgan or Diane Sawyer. But that’s what makes the interview so amusing. You wouldn’t expect the President of the United States to subject himself to an interview by a comedian asking questions like, “I read somewhere that you’d be sending Hulk Hogan to Syria or is that more of a job for Tonya Harding?" In this age of so much media, finding a way to surprise your audience can help you stand out.
3. Humor makes a human connection. Obama’s willingness to be mocked by Galifianakis shows a different, more personable side to the President. That will only help him connect with Americans—particularly the younger ones he’s trying to reach. “We have to find ways to break through [to younger Americans]," presidential communications strategist Dan Pfeiffer said, according to Hollywood Reporter. "This is essentially an extension of the code we have been trying to crack for seven years now."
Read more articles on Obamacare.
Photos: Getty Images, Funny or Die