Fox News and Google are hosting the September 22 Republican presidential primary candidates debate. In an effort to promote their YouTube live streaming of the event, Google has added a link to the bottom of their search page where people can submit questions.
In 2008, YouTube hosted their first presidential debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.
YouTube has become the repository of video information. When an event is broadcast somewhere in the world and you want to find it after the fact, YouTube is the place the majority of the world goes. Lately, they have also been generating their own content and the sponsorship of political debates is a smart move, as many people don't watch them live.
It would be interesting to know the traffic volume the inclusion of that link below the Google search generates. YouTube is getting good at creating these on the fly landing pages for streamed events, as the debate example below shows. Getting questions submitted in advance has become a popular way to engage the audience and get others to virally bring their friends hoping to see the question asked.
This new interaction between television and the web is becoming more prevalent. Using Twitter during broadcasts seems to now be standard with a number of shows, if Google were to tailor links below their search page based on known previous actions maybe this interaction could be wide reaching. TV stations would clamor for the spot if it were offered for sale.
As marketers we need to be aware of how potential clients are manipulated – this is one political candidate marketers need to watch.