Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn’t the only Democratic presidential candidate with digitally savvy friends. It seems Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and his digital team of former Obama campaign veterans are using every opportunity they can to make a personal connection online with potential voters.
That includes producing an 18-second long “404 — Page Not Found” video message in which Sanders explains in his signature gruff manner that users have accidentally stumbled on the wrong webpage. Sanders, who officially announced his campaign for president on Tuesday, then shares a useful suggestion as to how they can get to where they should be.
The long-serving Independent’s personal message, much like the way he posts about policy issues on Facebook and on Reddit, includes some good news: “You’re on the right website and it’s a really good website … .” He then gets to the bad news: “You’re on the wrong page!”
Sanders then redirects those who are lost by instructing them to: “Just scoot down to the bottom of the page.”
Credit for the new website and in-tune error page goes to the Sanders’ digital operation. Digital Director Kenneth Pennington currently leads the team and previously managed social media for Sanders’ Senate office. Revolution Messaging is helping manage the online fundraising, advertising and social networking operation for his 2016 presidential campaign.
Among notable Obama campaign alums at Revolution Messaging is the digital agency’s founder and CEO, Scott Goodstein, who was the president’s external online director in 2008. Goodstein led the charge in developing social and mobile networking tools that helped to modernize grassroots organizing for the digital age. The creative director and partner at Revolution Messaging, Arun Chaudhary, also worked on Obama’s new media team in 2008 — though he stands out for serving as the first official White House videographer.
Sanders’ 404 video was uploaded to YouTube on May 25, 2015, and was embedded into the campaign webpage shortly after. The site as a whole was re-launched today with series of new tabs that include links to the Sanders shop, as well as explanations of the senator’s stance on various issues.
Already, a few people have expressed their approval of Sanders in the YouTube comments — one of the most notoriously harsh online commenting forums.
Sanders is the latest in a series of 2016 hopeful presidential candidates who have taken extra steps to personalize their websites. The HillaryClinton.com 404 error page features a Clinton family throwback picture, while Marco Rubio got into the 404 game by creating a customized football themed page.