Happy 10th Birthday YouTube


Today marks YouTube’s 10th anniversary – and 10 years of transforming the way we consume video content.  Before YouTube hit the internet in 2005, we were largely restricted to viewing video on televisions in our homes, but since YouTube came online, it has not only given us ready access to videos like “Charlie bit my finger,” but it has also spurred a brand new way of broadcasting video content that can do everything from communicate a complex policy idea to help launch Justin Bieber’s career.  TV shows, especially late night comedy shows, have reimagined their formats to garner more views on YouTube than even through their traditional TV audiences.  Missed the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’s latest lip sync sketch? No problem! You can join the more than 7 million subscribers to his YouTube channel and catch any of the late night segments you may have missed.

Video content, distributed through YouTube, can also be an effective way to further a public affairs campaign. Not only does leveraging your own distribution channel give you an unfiltered way to get your message across, but people are often more receptive to watching a short video about a complex issue than they are to reading an in-depth document on a policy idea.  At Blue Engine we regularly use video to help drive our most successful public affairs campaigns.

How we incorporate video into campaigns:

  • Use infographics and animation to simplify a complex policy idea;
  • Create a 15 second profile video of a person impacted by a specific policy issue to highlight the issue’s direct impact;
  • Draw the attention of diverse audiences to controversial issues through parody; and
  • Creating video content as part of a paid media effort working in conjunction with a broader earned media strategy.

The creative options are endless and thanks to YouTube, our ability to share video is easier than ever.  With YouTube as the second most used search engine, video content is here to stay for our entertainment, and for telling important stories. I’m sure that in 10 more years, we’ll be celebrating more milestones for the video giant, probably on our hovercrafts.

Bloomberg compiled some of the most popular YouTube videos spanning the last decade. Take a look back by clicking here.