A battle on the streets for the District 6 supervisorial seat has moved into new territory — YouTube, a free online Web site where anyone can view and post video shorts.
Supervisor Chris Daly, who is hitting the pavement in a fight against rival candidate Rob Black, posted on YouTube three commercial spots that are also appearing on local cable channels. The online site also contains a number of other pro-Daly shorts. Those who oppose Daly are no strangers to YouTube either. They have posted a handful of anti-Daly shorts.
A week before Election Day, these colorful and often humorous shorts have generated thousands of viewers.
The most talked-about short, which is also appearing on Comedy Central, pokes fun at Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has endorsed Black and has frequently butted heads with Daly.
Newsom is depicted by a sock puppet standing at the top of a castle next to his 20-year-old girlfriend, who is represented by a wine bottle with a blonde wig. The Newsom character says, “Everything looks great down there tonight” as a group of sock puppets below are saying “rabble, rabble.” The “rabble” asks for more buses and housing. A sock puppet, representing Daly, swoops in with a poster showing buildings and Muni buses, and says, “I’ll save you.”
The last words of the ad are from Newsom’s girlfriend, who says, “Can I have some wine?”
“I think it’s a funny ad,” Daly said.
After being attacked by opponents in campaign ads, Daly said he decided to respond with “humor.”
Newsom had little to say about the spot: “It doesn’t deserve response.”
As far as the whole YouTube phenomenon, Daly said, “For young voters it makes the campaign hipper and a little bit more relevant.”
Political Analyst David Latterman said YouTube is “the next wave,” but how influential a role it will play in local politics depends on how well people learn to use it.
“I don’t think it’s been utilized very well yet,” Latterman said, calling the content of the District 6 shorts “insider baseball.”