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"I Got a Crush... on Obama"
Amber Lee Ettinger in the viral music video
Song by Leah Kauffman 2nd
Published YouTube
Released June 13, 2007
Genre Political, comedy, pop
Length 3:18
Writer Leah Kauffman, Ben Relles
Producer Rick Friedrich
Chronology
"I Got a Crush... on Obama" "Debate '08: Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl"

"I Got a Crush... on Obama" is an internet viral video, first posted on YouTube in June 2007 featuring a young woman seductively singing of her love for U.S. Senator (now President) Barack Obama. Produced by BarelyPolitical.com, actress and model Amber Lee Ettinger lip-synched the song for the video, and Leah Kauffman (of "My Box in a Box" fame) provided the vocals.[1]

The concept was the brainchild of 32-year-old advertising executive Ben Relles. "I Got A Crush...On Obama" was co-written and produced by Rick Friedrich.[1] The creators sold two shirts and the red shorts used in the video in an eBay auction. One of the shirts garnered $1,000. Proceeds from the auction were donated to the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness.[2]

Contents

The video

On May 25, 2007 Ben Relles placed an ad on the online classified website, Craigslist, seeking a music video director.[3] The ad was answered by filmmakers Kevin Arbouet and Larry Strong. Filming began later that same day in and around various New York City landmarks. Arbouet and Strong co-directed and shot the entire video in about six hours. The whole film project took approximately two to three weeks.[4]

On June 13, 2007 the video was posted to the video sharing website YouTube and garnered over one thousand views within the first five hours of its posting.[5] By the second day the American news media had taken notice of the video's growing popularity. Relles, Ettinger and Kauffman appeared on many television news programs.[5] The video was nominated in the Politics category in the 2007 YouTube Awards.[6]

Obama's response

When asked about the video by the Des Moines Register on June 18, 2007, Obama said, "It's just one more example of the fertile imagination of the Internet. More stuff like this will be popping up all the time."[7] Obama told the Associated Press that the Obama Girl video had upset his daughters and said, "You do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families."[8]

Obama's campaign stated they had nothing to do with the video's creation.[9] Kauffman and Ettinger confirmed this during their June 15, 2007 appearance on Fox & Friends, where they said that the video was not made to support Barack Obama in his campaign but rather for fun. They also expressed interest in making more videos of the same genre for other candidates of other parties as well.[4]

Subsequent videos

"Debate '08: Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl"
Song by Leah Kauffman
Published YouTube
Released July 16, 2007
Genre Political, comedy, pop
Length 3:09
Writer Leah Kauffman, Ben Relles
Producer Rick Friedrich
Chronology
"I Got a Crush... on Obama" "Debate '08: Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl"
  • On June 25, 2007 YouTuber VenetianPrincess released "I Got a Crush on... Giuliani". The video was a parody of "I Got a Crush... on Obama"
  • A new Obama Girl video was released on July 16, 2007. This featured "Obamagirl" and two of her friends, played by Amina Sade and Sena Khoda, "debating" throughout the song with a trio of young women, Adelina Kristina, Ashley Beach (granddaughter of Republican Senator James Broyhill) and Rebecca DiPietro, who support Rudy Giuliani, by cavorting on the streets of New York City.[10 ] A parody of a televised debate is featured, and supporters of other candidates make brief appearances (including a rather lonely Kucinich Girl).
  • On July 2, 2007, songwriter-singer-actress Taryn Southern released the "Hott4Hill" viral video on YouTube. Clearly intended as an answer video for "I Got a Crush on Obama," it gained media attention for its more ambiguous sexuality.[11]
  • In the middle of September 2007, a third video was released, this time with U.S. soldiers being Obama Girl's crush. Her father spent 23 years in the military.[12]
  • In September 2007, Amber Lee Ettinger began working with Voter Vision, a multi-media political campaign marketing program, shooting videos used to demonstrate voter response to online and broadcast communications and offering up the Obama Girl video services to Voter Vision clientele. These Obama Girl/Voter Vision videos debuted at the Campaigns & Elections Conference in Washington D.C. on November 14, 2007.
  • In late November 2007, a video was posted of Amber Lee Ettinger talking with Chad Vader.
  • On January 2, 2008, a video was posted titled "Obama Girl Returns for Iowa! (Why Obama Won)."
  • On January 13, 2008, Dave Days released a parody of the song called "I Got a Crush... On Hillary"[13] in which he was announcing a crush for Hillary Clinton rather than Barack Obama.
  • On January 31, 2008, a video was posted titled "Obama Girl kills Osama Bin Laden?" In this video, Obama Girl appears on a faux news program discussing her personal mission in Pakistan to find Osama bin Laden.
  • On February 2, 2008, a video was posted titled "Super Obama Girl." This video is both notably less risqué than the original video and more campy in its narrative. The story begins with the intertitle "The nation needs a hero." Amber Lee, a reporter à la Clark Kent, has gotten super powers from her Obama tchotchke. Now a superheroine, she flies from battleground state to battleground state battling the Legion of Doom, i.e., Obama's political opponents and their henchmen, including Chuck Norris, in the cartoon fashion of the '60s Batman TV series. Among other feats, she literally carries Iowa, is responsible for Sen. Edward Kennedy's endorsement, and battles Hillary's goons (labeled as such in the intertitle), who are themselves labeled Status and Quo. The story ends on a mid-air cliffhanger with Super Obama Girl carrying Sen. Obama on her back and Bill Clinton carrying his spouse, Sen. Hillary Clinton, on his back, on an apparent collision course, and an exhortation to stay tuned for Super Tuesday. The video itself ends with some comic fan service from Amber Lee Ettinger which is an apparent greenscreen outtake.[14]
  • On February 24, 2008, Ettinger appeared as Obama Girl on an episode of Saturday Night Live. This appearance was later posted to YouTube.
  • On April 4, 2008 another song was posted onto YouTube titled 'I think I fancy Boris Johnson' which is another parody of 'I Got a Crush... on Obama".
  • On March 25, 2008, a video was posted titled "Hillary! Stop the attacks! Love, Obama Girl," in which Obama Girl implores Hillary Clinton to stop making political attacks on Obama.
  • On May 7, 2008, a video was posted titled "Mike Gravel Lobbies for the Obama Girl Vote." In this video, Mike Gravel lobbies Obama Girl to switch her support from Obama to him. Her response near the end of the video is, "I'll think about it."
  • On May 22, 2008, Kirk Productions released the "McCAIN GIRL" video on YouTube. It imitates "I Got a Crush... On Obama" and "Hott4Hill", but features a girl with a crush on Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. It stars Olivia Daisy Wood with vocals by DaNica.
  • On May 23, 2008, a video was released by the "McCain McCutie"[15] on YouTube. It imitates "I Got a Crush... On Obama" and "Hott4Hill", but features yet another girl with a crush on Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. It is sung and stars Natalie Bannon.

References

  1. ^ a b Tapper, Jake (2007-06-13). "Music Video Has a 'Crush on Obama'". ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Story?id=3275802&page=1. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  2. ^ "Obama Girl Blog". TypePad. 2007-06-10. http://www.obamagirl.typepad.com/blog/.  
  3. ^ Williams, Stephen (2007-06-25). "'Crush on Obama' video directed by Hempstead guys (Interview with Larry Strong)". http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/ny-etobama0625,0,1449886.story?coll=ny-homepage-mezz. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  4. ^ a b Allahpundit (2007-06-15). "Video: "Obama Girl" Speaks!"". Fox & Friends. http://hotair.com/archives/2007/06/15/video-obama-girl-speaks/. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  5. ^ a b "Music video creators have a 'crush on Obama' (Interview with Kauffman and Relles)". MSNBC. 2007-06-14. http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?f=00&g=e199a3f2-d7b6-4ead-b4d7-d8f9561de1f0&p=hotvideo_m_edpicks&t=m5&rf=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16438329/&fg=. Retrieved 2009-02-21.  
  6. ^ Carlson, Erin (2008-03-20). "Will the Obama Girl win a YouTube award?". Associated Press. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080320/ap_en_ot/youtube_awards. Retrieved 2008-03-20.  
  7. ^ Clayworth, Jason (2007-06-19). "Obama responds to 'crush'". Archived from the original on 2008-02-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20080211114524/http://blogs.dmregister.com/?p=6506.  
  8. ^ "'Obama girl' may become Clinton's girl". CNN. 2007-08-23. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/08/23/obama-girl-may-become-clintons-girl/. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  9. ^ Gibson, John (2007-06-14). "'Crush' Video Good for Obama". Fox News Channel. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,282694,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  10. ^ This video also uses the "sex sells" technique."Obama Girl VS Giuliani Girl". Barely Political. 2007-07-12. http://www.barelypolitical.com/obama-vs-giuliani/. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  11. ^ "Video Send-Up of Hillary Clinton by 'American Idol' Contestant Walks a Sexual Line". Fox News Channel. 2007-07-11. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,288974,00.html. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  12. ^ Bosman, Julie (2007-09-18). "Net Watch: Obama Girl’s New Crush.". The New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/net-watch-obama-girls-new-crush/index.html. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  13. ^ Davedays (2008-01-13). "I Got a Crush... On Hillary". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLSWudoqtWE. Retrieved 2008-11-16.  
  14. ^ Barely Political (2008-01-31). "Sexy! Flashy! Wonky! Super Obama Girl!". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIiMa2Fe-ZQ. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  
  15. ^ McCain McCutie (2008-05-23). ""Insane for John McCain" by McCain McCutie". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUWTkm6t8Wg. Retrieved 2008-11-05.  

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