Vitriolic US campaign inspires viral videos

Updated 08 November 2016
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Vitriolic US campaign inspires viral videos

This US election has been noted for its especially bitter tone as fierce rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in the polls.
But for some this vitriolic campaign has been the inspiration for something else: Viral videos.
In one memorable YouTube clip, the two US election rivals are seen debating — except the audio has been switched to "I've Had The Time of My Life". The viral clip has already been viewed more than four million times. And one former Dubai expat has made his own US election-inspired video in a bid to promote a book published earlier this year.
Author Charlie Raymond — who wrote Hired, Fired, Fled, a humorous tale of his succession of 14 jobs in 15 years, including journalist roles in Dubai — made the hilarious video in London.
It shows a "parallel universe" in which Clinton and Trump, far from being bitter election rivals, are very much in love.
“There's been so much hate and vitriol in the US election campaign that I wanted to bring some levity,” Raymond tells Arab News.
“These two people are doing all they can to fight for their dream job, which is what my book Hired, Fired, Fled is all about, so there was an obvious tie-in. Fighting for your dream job is great and admirable, but sadly Trump and Clinton are going about it in a terrible way!”
The funny video, titled Love & Rage in the Race to the White House, shows Trump and Clinton sharing a plate of spaghetti, riding a tandem bike and taking selfies.
Raymond, a pen name, plays Trump — with an anonymous friend playing Clinton. Both wear masks portraying caricatures of the election rivals.
“People in London loved seeing these characters have some fun on their streets. We did get some comments shouted at us, such as, "I hate you both!" but in the most part people just wanted to take selfies with us,” Raymond said.
Raymond’s book, published in June, tells the story of his string of jobs across eight countries including the UAE. “It was an ideal place for me, as Dubai is full of opportunity. I didn't realize it until I'd left, but the best jobs I've ever had were working for media companies in Dubai, as the people, access, and variety were second to none. Maybe I'll return once more,” the author said.
The video to promote the book shows Clinton and Trump getting along — but in the final scenes the two are seen chasing each other around with baseball bats. Much more like, as the film suggests, the “reality” of the divisive election campaign.


Nestle, AT&T pull YouTube ads over pedophile concerns

Updated 22 February 2019
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Nestle, AT&T pull YouTube ads over pedophile concerns

  • A video from a popular YouTuber and a report from Wired showed that pedophiles have made unseemly comments on innocuous videos of kids
  • YouTube has faced advertiser boycotts in the past, including a widespread boycott in early 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, US: Several companies, including AT&T and Nestle, are pulling advertisements from YouTube over concerns about inappropriate comments on videos of children.
A video from a popular YouTuber and a report from Wired showed that pedophiles have made unseemly comments on innocuous videos of kids. The comments reportedly included timestamps that showed where kids innocently bared body parts.
YouTube says it disabled comments on tens of millions of videos and deleted offending accounts and channels.
Nestle and Fortnite maker Epic Games say they paused ads on YouTube while the company works on the issue. AT&T says it has removed ads until YouTube can “protect our brand from offensive content of any kind.”
YouTube has faced advertiser boycotts in the past, including a widespread boycott in early 2017. Since then YouTube has made efforts to be more transparent about how it deals with offensive comments and videos on its site.
But the latest flap shows how much of an ongoing problem offensive content continues to be, said eMarketer video analyst Paul Verna.
“When you think about the scope of that platform and what they’re up against, it is really like a game of whack-a-mole to try to prevent these problems from happening,” he said.
Still, because of the powerful advertising reach of YouTube’s parent Google, brands are unlikely to stay away from YouTube for long, he said.
Digital ad spending in the US is expected to grow 19 percent in 2019 to $129.34 billion this year, or 54 percent of estimated total US ad spending, according to eMarketer, with Google and Facebook accounting for nearly 60 percent of that total.
“At the end of the day, there’s a duopoly out there of Google and Facebook,” for digital advertising, he said. “Any brand that doesn’t play the game with either is potentially leaving a big marketing opportunity on the table.”