With a gubernatorial election upon us this year in the state of California, I have been loosely following the campaign tactics of Republican Meg Whitman as she prepares to take on Democrat Jerry Brown in November. Whitman, 53, is the former CEO of eBay and is ranked the fourth wealthiest female in the state of California with a net worth of $1.3 billion. As of June 6th, Whitman spent $81 million on her campaign (most coming from her personal fortune). On June 8th, she soundly defeated challenger Steve Poizner in the California Primary Election 64.4% to 26.7%. Poizner, a billionaire himself, only spent $25 million. Now Whitman is focused on defeating Jerry Brown and is prepared to once again spend an obsene amount of money. In addition to spending massive amounts of cash, Whitman is also embracing cutting edge technologies that are new to political campaigns. The success of these modern tactics could potentially change the way political campaigns are conducted in the future. Whitman comes from a wealthy high-tech world. Brown comes from a modest low tech world. It will be interesting to see how these two campaigns play out. The following are some high-tech tools Meg Whitman is currently using in her campaign.
Streaming Video- Whitman’s campaign sends individuals to record videos of Jerry Brown at campaign events using iPhones and stream them back to Whitman headquarters. News releases attacking Brown’s words can then be sent moments after an event has concluded.
Cable TV- A new type Comcast cable channel ad allows viewers to support Whitman by volunteering or ordering bumper stickers from their remote controls.
Floor Prompters– A new breed teleprompting technology allows for projection of text on the floor. By using this instead of traditional teleprompting devices, it creates the illusion that Whitman is speaking unscripted and off the top of her head. It also allows for more mobility on stage.
Robo Calls- New messaging technology can now customize messages with a unique greeting. Whitman’s campaign can now tailor each message using the first name of the supporter. Whitman herself digitally records several first names and her campaign splices them into generic messages.
Micro Targeting Mailers- Using advances in database technology, the Whitman campaign can send customized direct mail pieces highlighting issues that are important to a group of supports. This avoids wasting money sending generic political junk mail to all supporters.
Meg2010 Web Site- This is the centerpiece of the entire campaign. All content is professionally produced and contains everything you would want to know about Meg Whitman. The site can also be easily converted to several different languages. It has been described as the “Cadillac” of political websites.