The famous and cliche word that has been haunting all the undergraduate students is thesis. This thing has been glorified for its complexion, arduous effort, and the time-consuming process to get it done. It becomes a sensitive issue that no one will talk or brag about it unless you’ve done yours, like what I’m doing right now. Several universities have chosen another way to examine their students for final tasks other than thesis, like final exam, internship reports, etc. They argue that thesis is just another form of replication of theories and arguments that causes plagiarism to breed over and over again, replacing the original purpose : to do an advanced literature review and build a solid perspective to see contemporary phenomena based on relevant theories.
I have done my thesis defence yesterday and believe me, it’s totally different from any kind of presentation that I have done before. I have joined several competitions that allow me to present ideas. It was tough, full with fault-finding, and killer questions. The idea also has to be succinct and concise, so it can be delivered well. But during the thesis defence, I felt so powerless and clueless. Every argument that came from my mouth must be quoted from relevant theories, and the logic in my writing is still far from standard in academic world. Well, academic world has its own gist. At least, I have learned how to address my writing structure compactly and to the point.
I’m not an academic bitch who feel entitled with my own thesis and assure that my research will change the world. Doh. Imagine thousands of students attend one university and there are limited lecturers, examine all your thesis meticulously one by one. That will never gonna happen. But at least, I can summary my own thesis and transform it into a useful post about contemporary phenomena that happened during presidential election last year. Yes. All my effort from my thesis will be transformed into a single post with facts and relevant opinions. Nice.
Remember Cameo Fun Campaign? The seven video series from Cameo Production on their YouTube channel, Cameo Project that had gone viral last year because they satirised both Jokowi and Prabowo during presidential election on 2014? Well, some of you may followed them last year and their prior projects before, the famous video campaign for Jokowi-Basuki using one direction’s song.
Jokowi dan Basuki by Cameo Production on 2012
Cameo Production is a media production company on YouTube. They prefer to be categorised as a media instead of YouTube Star. YouTube Star had been ramifying since 2010 with the popular names such as Raditya Dika, Edho Zell, Bayu Skak, Skinnyindonesian24, Sacha Stevenson, and many more. Those are the stars that develop entertaining content on YouTube, known as video blog (vlog). They are popular and have solid subscribers in the internet. YouTube Star can be identified with one person as the “face” of the video blog, or the main character. Well, Cameo Production is quite different, they consist of a team, so they don’t have the singular “face” like others. They work like a production house, producing content on YouTube like a media. They form a new hybrid in new media phenomena. This internet sensation is a new gold mine for netizen to gain revenue by making themselves famous and get lucrative payment from YouTube or sponsored content from certain brand. By this time I’m writing this post, Raditya Dika is gaining money because of his popular YouTube Channel.
Cameo Production is really open and amicable when I proposed my proposal to conduct a research about their communication strategy during Cameo Fun Campaign. Thanks to them I can finally at one step closer to finish my thesis and able to write this post.
Why did Cameo Production make Cameo Fun Campaign?
Last year, the Indonesian presidential election on July 2014 had matched two fractions, Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla and Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa as the legitimate candidates for the next president and vice president of Indonesia in 2014. Following the counting and final results, Prabowo-Hatta (45,85%-62.576.444) were defeated by Jokowi-JK (53,15%-70.997.833) with 8.421.389 votes as the difference from total votes (133. 754.277). During the presidential election, unknown sources had ramified false information that aimed to disparage, vilify, and embarrass both of the candidates. Such material used in the black campaign were contrary with public order and morals, thus they had concerned the public’s attention.
So, Cameo Production were inspired to create a communication strategy for social campaign by creating content to counter false material in the form of black campaign and also to educate public to be critical and smart while consuming and responding the political information. Cameo Productions released seven video series where each video had its own different message and purpose. Afterwards, Cameo Production declared themselves to support Prabowo before the election day through the video “Cameo Fun Campaign : Ketika Harus Memilih Prabowo atau Jokowi?”. This video caused a storm in social media and Cameo Production were alleged to have political agenda.
Cameo Fun Campaign by Cameo Production
Is it true that this campaign is actually a political campaign?
I conducted an interview with them couple months ago. And they were super friendly in responding to this issue. Cameo Production brushed-off this idea gently, because they weren’t affiliated with any candidates at that time. So, this whole campaign was pure independent with social purpose. They also made the videos one by one. They didn’t have grand plan to conduct seven videos in an instant at the very beginning. It just flowed through the madness reaction from the netizen.
The fact that several videos were dedicated to vote Prabowo, it was all because of experimental project by the team. They felt netizen worshipped Jokowi so much that they started to attack Prabowo at any cost. This caused a question what would happen if Cameo decided to vote Prabowo using logical arguments? For your information, at that time, Jokowi’s voter also worked for Cameo Production, and they still did it because they thought it would be fun and they saw the video as their professional effort.
But my research doesn’t concern on their independency. I want to dig further how their video could be viral in such a short time.
My research shows that in order to create viral as an impact, the content itself should be entertaining and come from reliable sources. The declining of trust from society to advertising shows that people start to ignore advertising message and appreciate recommendation from their friends, family, etc. This is called the word-of-mouth effect. Well, this logic was seamlessly used by Cameo Production in Cameo Fun Campaign. Cameo Production had broken the internet several times with their prior projects. So, they are not really a novice in this field. They already have their loyal audience.
They don’t have significant strategy during Cameo Fun Campaign to promote their videos. They make the video and throw it on YouTube. So if we talk about viral marketing strategy, this thing can’t be implied because they don’t have any. Content plays the critical part.
Cameo fun Campaign, take a look at the fun part. Fun is translated into a big theme for the whole campaign. Cameo Production generate “fun” into “parody” as their technique to deliver every message in the video. Parody is all about recreating something that has been done before, with a new perspective. Political parody is not an original concept, but political parody is somehow not accessible for society in general. So, how can they make someone so ignorant to politic can enjoy a political parody?
Being fun is already mastered by Cameo Production thanks to their nature as a YouTube Star. Cameo Production doesn’t try to validate and dig too deep about every “black campaign” issues on social media for the parody material. They choose the superficial issues, easy to get, easy to digest. They leave it be so people can still relate the issue into their daily life. It’s working. Every video from Cameo Fun Campaign satirise popular issues from both candidates without any judgement or sense of condescension. Audience can relate easily the topics because it will appear on the first page on their browser, and will laugh about it.
With the indigenous talent from the director to write the script, and gifted talents, Cameo Production make every single of their video is worth to watch. You may notice the talents in their video are constantly similar. Well, because their team is actually consist of several people only. The benefit is, the team bonds very easily like a family, so it will be easier for the director to lead them.
Cameo Fun Campaign proves that content still plays an important part if your video want to go viral. Because expert also says that being viral is not about strategic effort, sometimes it can go beyond our control. But since we can control the content we want to produce, so maximise in it and the audience will consume it. Even traditional media will pick up the content for their material, and voila, another impressions.
Can we learn something from Cameo Fun Campaign for next election?
The growth of new media and creative agencies in digital world increase every year. Presidential election on 2014 was the evidence that social media could be easily used as a powerful tool as a political campaign, even though the gist of the campaign is still “traditional” and not appealing to netizen, especially youth. But for the next election, I think we can learn from Cameo Fun Campaign. A good and creative content can be used for political campaign that appeals for netizen.