PRODUCTION: Inspired by Barack Obama’s impassioned speech on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas produced “YesWeCan,” a musical response video. Recorded over the course of two days at Ether and Record Plant in Los Angeles, the video is a black-and-white reinterpretation of the senator’s memorable address performed by 35 entertainer-activists, including actor Scarlett Johansson, athlete Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and rapper Common. Will.I.Am enlisted director Jesse Dylan and co-producer Mike Jurkovac, both of CyClops Productions, which describes itself as an “integrated film, advertising and branded new media content” company. “YesWeCan” resides at YesWeCanSong.com and HopeActChange.com, an extension of Will.I.Am’s personal blog, DipDive. The aim of the site, according to a press release, is to disseminate non-commercial information about the 2008 election and to encourage users to get involved via message boards and user-generated content uploads.
RESULT: The video has reached 10 million-plus views through YesWeCanSong.com and over 4.5 million views through YouTube. It has garnered the attention of television and Internet news outlets nationwide, and has already inspired parody videos (notably, a mashup with Tom Cruise's Scientology speech) and responses by supporters of opposing candidates (a John McCain booster's "No.You.Can't.").