The Washington Post had a cautionary tale about video marketingyesterday–and quoted none other than the marketing manager of TubeMogul, mobileStorm’s partner in video distribution.

The news story was on President-elect Barack Obama’s video “fireside chats” dropping 50 percent in popularity within three weeks. “I’ve heard a lot of puffed-up rhetoric about how this is going to change the face of politics and how it’s going to be FDR’s fireside chats. The data doesn’t back it up,” said TubeMogul’s David Burch.

However, it may be too early judge the effectiveness of the videos. Sure, the audience dropped to 153,333 views for the third Obama video, down from 789,868 views for the first. However, that third video was posted during Thanksgiving week, the biggest U.S. holiday, during which time many people travel to visit family. And note that the fourth video had some 370,000 views by Monday evening.

Still, marketers should heed Burch’s words. After all, President Franklin Roosevelt had a fairly captive audience with his radio firesides, since TV hadn’t been invented and everyone was too shook up about World War II to engage in much extracurricular activity. So it’s almost unrealistic to hang the same expectations on the Obama vids.

Instead, video should be seen as a way to engage people already interested in a brand, or to entice those new or on the fence. It should be part of an overall multi-channel strategy.