They are two people you might not expect to find in the same room together, let alone in an exclusive interview, but Zach Galifianakis and President Obama are making news today with their entertaining video release.

In an episode of Galifianakis’ popular Funny or Die chat show, ‘Between Two Ferns’, Obama throws down some great one-liners in a six minute video interview you might not expect. Usually reserved for awkwardly funny celebrity interviews with Justin Bieber or Jon Hamm, the show is making waves today with this presidential appearance:

President Obama on Between Two Ferns

So what’s the President doing on the very informal Between Two Ferns? Shouldn’t he be on CNN or something?

The White House Acting as a Media Company

The Obama administration has proven time and again that they are not afraid of digital media and they know that, to reach a certain demographic, they need to adopt new channels and approaches.

Under the leadership of the White House Director of Online Engagement, Michelle Obama has appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s show to dance in a fun sketch, and President Obama has used the White House’s Vine channel to thank San Francisco’s BatKid Miles with a micro video. The White House YouTube channel has well over 400,000 subscribers, and just over 5000 videos, so it’s not altogether surprising this media savvy president would want to appear on Galifianakis’ show where the video medium makes his message increasingly scaleable.

The White House YouTube Channel

Targeted to young people between the ages of approximately 18-27, Between Two Ferns might be considered an odd media outlet for the the most powerful man in the free world, but it’s a terrific example of the Obama administration using video as a successful conduit to reach their target audience (who is likely not watching television, but instead, their smartphones and YouTube). The White House has basically used a familiar YouTube channel to reach young voters and plug Obamacare in a pretty amazing way.

Moreover, because they’ve used an informal video, they were able to humanize the President and his message as he jokes with the show’s host. You can imagine how this contributes to his image and associated approval from young voters.

Furthermore, you can imagine how powerful an appearance like this can be for the Obamacare campaign. Although the video doesn’t contain a call to action, it does reinforce the Obamacare plug outright a few times and the administration will likely monitor traffic to healthcare.gov to determine the success of the appearance on that particular media channel.

No stranger to new media, data-driven marketing tactics, the Obama administration used A/B split testing in their 2008 campaign with Optimizely to determine which website combination of media and a call to action button would perform the best with their audience and get the best sign up rate. Making sure to take advantage of every opportunity, the Obama admin are setting a new standard for how Presidential campaigns are run and your marketing organization can learn a lot from their initiatives (be it the media coverage and channels they’re using to the way they are measuring and testing their performance).

What Businesses Can Learn from the White House

Marketing organizations can learn a lot from the White House’s clever approach to modern marketing. They think and act like a media company – looking for creative new ways to leverage social media and online video to reach their audiences and build credibility. They produce thoughtful, inspiring and often funny video content that resonates with their target audiences, increasing engagement and brand affinity. They take advantage of modern marketing tools so they can track the impact and success of different content marketing channels and media outlets. They test, re-test, and test again to ensure they’re making the most of every video asset and every online image.

Overall, between their 51 Vine micro videos, their massive YouTube channel, and the appearance with Galifianakis today, it’s clear that video is considered an extremely effective medium for targeting a specific audience – even if you happen to be the President of the United States.

Michael Litt