If the presence of a hashtag on the KimYe Vogue cover is any indication, the internet has officially won.
More than ever, institutions, companies, celebrities and publications are realizing that to reach their consumers, they have to be adept at using the internet — learning to use those hashtags, understanding how Twitter works, loving (and posting) the occasional fat cat, and making a funny viral video or Vine, or both.
But the one person winning at all these internet skills is the person you’d least expect. The one who you would think never even touches a computer and someone who doesn’t even own an iPhone. Believe it or not, President Obama is killing the internet game in an attempt to reach young Americans and push initiatives for the betterment of our nation.
And quite frankly, he and First Lady Michelle Obama are going where no White House couple has gone before. In an unprecedented show of public relations, Obama and FLOTUS are unconventionally using late night talk shows, hilarious videos and their celebrity friends to inform the public about health care, childhood obesity, the economy and raising the minimum wage.
While they leave the heavier topics like international diplomacy and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent annexation of Crimea to traditional press conferences, FLOTUS and POTUS are proving that they aren’t too presidential to give the people what they want — laughs with their information.
And although at least one person is pretty peeved with the White House push to appeal to young America (Bill O’Reilly, have several seats with your Lincoln analogy) we’re actually pretty receptive to the President’s methods.
Here are seven examples of hilariously brilliant PR stunts used by the President and Michelle Obama in the past few months:
That time Obama and Zach Galifianakis sat down to throw shade at one another:
Amid issuing sanctions on Russia after their decision to stronghold Crimea, President Obama took a lighter approach to another dire situation — urging young people to sign up for health care. In the funniest video we’ve seen this year, Obama and Zach Galifianakis sat “Between Two Ferns” on the comedian’s hit web series to throw shots at each other, but also to discuss the importance of visiting the health care marketplace to obtain affordable health care.
Our favorite part? When President Obama asks Galifianakis about Obamacare, he replies in all comedic seriousness: “Oh yeah I heard about that, that’s the thing that doesn’t work.” Burn! But apparently it worked — the next day the affordable health care marketplace reached the 4.2 million mark. Watch the funny video above.
That time FLOTUS and Will Ferrell got schooled by a bunch of kids:
Whoever came up with the idea to pit funny man Will Ferrell against a bunch of smart kids is a brilliant soul. Continuing her effort to fight childhood obesity by teaching youngsters about healthier lifestyle choices, the First Lady invited her comedian friend to a “Let’s Move” focus group to talk fruits, vegetables and all things good for you. But when Ferrell (in all his faux-serious comedic charm) asks if diet cola is a vegetable, things go awry. Hilariously awry. Like, kids laughing at Ferrell, not with him, awry.
“What’s so funny?” Ferrell asks. “You’re funny,” one kid says. “You know what, you’re funny,” an embarrassed Ferrell replies. Watch the cute video above.
That time Obama went to shop for new dad jeans and pink sweaters for Malia and Sasha:
Two weeks ago, when President Obama stopped by a NYC-area Gap clothing store to pick up new sweaters for his teenaged daughters, he wasn’t just in the mood to shop. Using the photo opportunity to send a message, the President actually made the surprise visit to the store because the company just recently (and voluntarily) raised their minimum wage.
A White House official explained the President’s impromptu stop: “In his State of the Union address, the President called for businesses to raise workers’ wages, and today the President will visit a Gap store to show his support for Gap Inc.’s decision to increase wages for their US based employees.”
See, there’s always a method to this man’s madness…or shopping, rather.
That time Obama told Ellen her star-studded Oscar selfie was a “cheap stunt:”
After Ellen DeGeneres set out to beat President Obama’s retweet record (remember the romantic picture Obama posted of he and Michelle after reelection that was captioned “4 more years?”) the Commander-in-Chief appeared on Ellen’s daytime talk show to tell her a thing or two about her little Oscar stunt.
“I don’t know if you know this, but I was aiming to break your record of retweets and I apologize for doing it,” DeGeneres said. “But I broke your retweet record.”
“I heard about that,” Obama said. ”I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself. Getting a bunch of celebrities in the background…you feeding them pizza.”
But staying in line with his administration’s play to young people to sign up for health care before March 31, Obama and DeGeneres talked about Obamacare, raising the minimum wage and even raising two teenage daughters.
And going on Ellen is probably the smartest move of all. Who doesn’t like her? Watch the video above.
That time President Obama and Joe Biden ran around the White House and succeeded in not breaking any historic relics:
Who isn’t interested in watching the President and Vice President run around the White House in a hilarious but informative video?
If you’re the one who doesn’t think this is both an adorable and informative way to get kids to drink more water and exercise, you’re just really boring.
Sorry not sorry. Watch the video above.
That time Michelle Obama dunked on LeBron James and made the best win face ever:
Once upon a time the Miami Heat came to visit the White House and Michelle Obama showed them all who was boss when she dunked on LeBron James and made this epic face.
And we thank baby Jesus for this amazing gif.
In all seriousness, the comedic skit was planned and carried out by James and the First Lady to promote staying fit and fighting childhood obesity. You can watch it in its entirety here.
That time President Obama used March Madness to push for Obamacare:
With the deadline to sign up for affordable health care approaching fast, Obama took the opportunity to marry the two things he loves — basketball and Obamacare.
In an effort to reach young men, Obama released a “16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered” bracket along with his own N.C.A.A. tournament bracket. In addition, LeBron James, the Miami Heat star forward, is starring in 30-second ads promoting HealthCare.gov that will air during the college basketball games.
Pair anything with basketball and men are bound to listen. If that’s not an example of some brilliant PR, we don’t know what is.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: White House YouTube, FunnyOrDie