Wednesday, December 05, 2012
The List: The top five White House food videos released during President Obama's first term in office...
As President Obama's first term rapidly comes to its end, the video about his homebrewed beer operation has set the record for the most-viewed White House culinary mini-movie released since 2009. Unveiled three months ago on Sept. 1, the behind-the-scenes peek into the Presidential mircrobrewery has gotten 509,794 views on the White House YouTube channel. That's tens of thousands more views than every other White House food video, including those about First Lady Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden, State Dinners, and other food initiatives, such as the beehive.
And the foamy video has rung up the big number at lightning speed, far exceeding hits for food videos that have been viewable since the beginning of the Administration almost four years ago.
Narrated by the suds-loving Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass, the 4 minute, 34 second beer video was released along with the much-anticipated, top-secret recipes for White House Honey Ale and White House Honey Porter. The chefs are the first to homebrew in more than two centuries of White House history, and the President is in love with their efforts: He's saluted the beer on national television and taken to handing out bottles as gifts. Last week, small business owners meeting with Mr. Obama received bottles of brew in swag bags decorated with the Presidential seal. The New York Times gushed about the Honey Ale recipe, reviewing it like a fine wine.
The second most-viewed White House food video features President Obama grilling steaks with celebrity chef and Food Network star Bobby Flay during a Father's day event on the South Lawn. It's gotten 345,132 views since being released on June 22, 2009. "I'm a medium-well guy," the steak-loving President proclaimed. He's served steak at most of his high-profile dinners, and enjoyed it as his good-luck meal ahead of the second and third Presidential debates.
The third most-viewed White House food video is about the First Lady's signature project. Titled "Inside the White House: The Kitchen Garden," the video has had 190,694 views since it was released on Aug 31, 2009. It was the first highly edited video the White House created about the then-1,100 square-foot vegetable patch, and Mrs. Obama and Kass both appear onscreen, telling the garden's story. It was released before Mrs. Obama formally launched the Let's Move! campaign. Other Kitchen Garden videos have had far fewer views, detailed below.
The fourth most-viewed White House food video features Kass and the now-controversial Elmo in the White House kitchen, where they discuss healthy school lunches. Since its release in December of 2010, the video has gotten 108,656 views. "Elmo loves fruit!" the red Muppet exclaims onscreen, just one of a number of lines of dialogue uttered by the puppet master hiding below the kitchen counter which now have unfortunate double meanings.
Coming in at #5: There's a very popular food video which isn't about the chefs, gardening, or cooking that has gotten a whopping number of views, so it lands at #5 on this list. A video showing President Obama and 14-year-old inventor Joey Hudy firing a marshmallow across the State Dining Room with the boy's air-powered "Extreme Marshmallow Cannon," filmed at the White House Science Fair in February of 2012, has now had more than 1.1 million views. Americans apparently love a President who plays with food as much as they love Presidential beer.
Maybe President Obama should consider promoting his wife's Let's Move! campaign by shooting marshmallow, steak and homebrewed beer through the Kitchen Garden. Because the vegucation videos overall have had far fewer views than the Presidential food videos.
Kitchen garden video views...
A video released on June 16, 2009, when Mrs. Obama harvested her garden for the very first time, has gotten 44,829 views in the ensuing three years. A video of Kass and baseball player Ryan Howard of the World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies touring the Kitchen Garden has gotten 46,596 views since being released on June 5, 2009. The 2010 Spring Planting video had 9,951 views, while the 2011 Spring Planting video had 12,042 views. A video about the Three Sisters Planting and Harvest in June 2011 had 7,213 views. A video about the White House beehive has gotten 36,082 views since being released in June of 2010.
The newest video about the Kitchen Garden, released on Oct. 19 of this year, has gotten just 6,831 views. The video mingles footage from this year's Fall Garden Tour with footage from Mrs. Obama's most-viewed Kitchen Garden video, #3 overall on the most-viewed video list.
State Dinner video views...
The White House has released three behind-the-scenes videos about the chefs prepping the all-important State Dinners, beautiful, exclusive views into the work of America's most talented chefs. The most recent video, about the State Dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron, has had 30,983 views since March 14, 2012. The video about the State Dinner honoring President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korean has had 32,095 views since Oct. 13, 2011. The video about the State Dinner honoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 7, 2011, has had 25,396 views. The video about the Kids' State Dinner, a luncheon Mrs. Obama hosted for award-winning child chefs, has had 12,680 views since was released on August 20 of this year.
Turkey pardon video views...
The President's Thanksgiving turkey pardon videos are pretty popular, too, with this year's video of the pardon of Cobbler getting more views faster than any previous Thanksgiving video: It's had 106,702 views since Nov. 23, perhaps due to the fact that this year's National Thanksgiving Turkey was selected via contest on Facebook. The 2010 pardon video has had 136,435 views after two years; the 2011video has had 46,584 views, and the 2009 has had 91,436 views.
Of course all of these number are in contrast to other White House videos, some of which get massive numbers of views rapidly. For instance, a holiday video released on November 29 that shows First Dog Bo inspecting this year's holiday decor has already gotten more than 1.5 million views. A video of President Obama singing "Sweet Home Chicago" at the White House in February of this year has gotten 842,948 views. The video of President Obama announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011 has gotten more than 6.4 million views on the White House YouTube channel, and the same video is available in thousands of other locations around the globe, including on broadcast TV websites.
The President grilling with Bobby Flay:
Kass and Elmo in the White House Kitchen:
*White House videos; photo by Samantha Appleton/White House