Rubalcaba, Rajoy. Spanish Elections in Youtube: users prefer parodies rather than political meetings

(Puede consultar el texto en español sobre este estudio en MRI Universidad de Navarra)

Spain is voting tomorrow 20 November to elect the new parliament and the new Spanish Prime Minister. With an unemployment rate above 20% and increasing risks of public debt insolvency, the crisis, its consequences and the measures to recover have become almost the only issue during this campaign.

We have designed at Media, Reputation and Intangibles an analysis to check how this campaign has been designed by the main political parties in Youtube, and how the users have actually behave.

We show now some results that are included in the report, what will be published in Spanish in MRI Universidad de Navarra site.

We have monitored all videos launched by two main parties, PSOE (socialist party) and PP (popular party, cernter-right). These two parties control almost 90% of all parliamentary seats. We have also followed all videos provided by any other source reaching at least 500 views.

We have identified some 330 different videos fulfilling our conditions, present in Youtube during the campaign (between 3 Nov and 19 Nov 2011).

Total amount of views is 1.6 millions.

Our analysis show that the main type of videos viewed during the campaign are political spoofs and parodies, as they represent some 42.5% of all views.

Surprisingly enough, videos about political meetings only represent 4.4% of all videos viewed. Content provided by the Youtube channels of official parties are basically about meetings. They have no attracted the interest of Youtube users. Our results clearly show that communication agencies in charge of the official Youtube channel of the political parties have not been able to adapt the communication strategy and content to social media rules.

Concerning the videos with political spoofs, many of them are manipulations intended to create amusing videos, but they do not send any specific political message.

There are nevertheless some of them that have a clear political content. We present the analysis of top 3 by influence in terms of viewers during the campaign.

Most viewed video is ‘Alfredo no te creo’ (Alfredo I do not trust you). It attacks the candidate from socialist party PSOE, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba. The musical video adapts a song and lyrics accusing Mr Rubalcaba for being responsible for the economic crisis and not respecting past commitments.

There are two videos attacking Partido Popular (PP), the conservative party that all polls announce as the winner, probably with an absolute majority of seats. ‘La niña de Rajoy’ is a parody of an image used years ago by PP candidate, Mariano Rajoy. A girl explains the secret plans of PP to cut expenses on social policies. Finally, ‘El hundimiento de Mariano Rajoy’ is a manipulation of the final scene of movie Der Untergang (Downfall). The parody shows Rajoy as personification of Hitler learning that his party has not reached the absolute majority thanks to the emergence of the third party, Izquierda Unida (former communist party). This last video is a call to end with bipartisanship in Spain.

We show their time evolution and the degree of acceptance by viewers.

You can check here the content of the three videos analyzed.

1. Alfredo no te creo (against PSOE)

2. La niña de Mariano Rajoy (against PP)

3. El hundimiento de Mariano Rajoy (against PP)