Former Pete Buttigieg campaign adviser Lis Smith recently dreamed up a larger-than-life idea to rally Democrats during the party's national convention in August: a giant holographic Joe Biden.
Yes, you read that correctly.
During a video interview with Politico's Jake Sherman Monday, Smith pitched the idea as a way to utilize the creative voices with the party and drum up some more energy around the presumptive nominee.
"Stefan Smith, who did digital work for Pete Buttigieg, cited the other day how Travis Scott's take over of Fortnite and how that was a really creative way to think about it," she said after being asked how she would run things if she were put in charge of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
"If we could do that with Joe Biden, you know, Joe Biden projected against the Grand Canyon!" she continued. "That might be a little bit ambitious, but we could have exclusive musical content from some of the biggest musical artists in the game ... driving eyeballs to these conventions so that people watch them."
The Fortnite/Travis Scott event that Smith is referencing was a concert inside the popular online game last month that featured a giant avatar of the rapper performing inside Fortnite's world complete with a lasers, fire, space travel, and various other special effects. The event drew more than 12.3 concurrent viewers — which is just a tad more than the 2,800 concurrent viewers that Biden drew during a "lit" virtual happy hour with young voters in March.
Here's a clip of the performance posted by GamesRadar:
Fortnite: Travis Scott Astronomical full in-game event - Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 2 youtu.be
Reporting on Smith's suggestion, gaming news website, Kotaku, said: "It's not surprising that Democrats might think something similar could be done to pump energy back into a campaign whose most recent notable event was a digital town hall plagued by technical hiccups and glitches."
It's true that a giant avatar of Joe Biden would certainly be more interesting than what Democrats have seen — or not seen — from the actual candidate thus far in 2020. But it's also true that older politicians piggy-backing off of popular trends in order to win young voters usually has the opposite effect.
As an example, the Kotaku report noted that Smith's suggestion is "depressingly reminiscent of that time back in 2016 when then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton suggested someone try to figure out how to use Pokémon Go's popularity to get people to 'Pokémon Go to the polls.'"
It's unclear whether Democratic operatives are jumping on Smith's idea yet, and who knows, maybe Republicans will beat them to the punch.