Ever since he became campaign manager for President Barack Obama, Jim Messina has been busy enlisting the aid of top Silicone Valley and Hollywood CEOs including Steve Jobs and Steven Spielberg, according to a new report from Businessweek.
“I went around the country for literally a month of my life interviewing these companies and just
talking about organizational growth,
emerging technologies, marketing,” said Messina.
One of the tech gurus Messina approached for social marketing tips was former Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
“Last time you were programming to only a couple of channels,” Jobs told him, referring to the Web and e-mail. “This time, you have to program content to a much wider variety of channels -- Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Google -- because people are segmented in a very different way than they were four years ago.”
“He knew exactly where everything was going. He explained viral content and how our stuff could break out, how it had to be interesting and clean,” said Messina.
Indeed, considering that the iPhone wasn't around when President Obama began his 2008 presidential campaign, Jobs was doing what he does best: predicting where technology could take people.
Messina also met with Hollywood titan Steven Spielberg. Except this time he wasn't looking for tech tips -- he wanted advice on how to hit Mitt Romney on Bain Capital.
Yes, Jim Messina actually took advice from the guy who thought “Artificial Intelligence,” “Hook,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and “1941” were good ideas.
Maybe because the genius who brought us "Rufio" was involved...
“At DreamWorks Studios, Steven Spielberg spent three hours explaining how to capture an audience’s attention and offered a number of ideas that will be rolled out before Election Day. An early example of Spielberg’s influence is RomneyEconomics.com, a website designed by the Obama team to tell the story -- a horror story, by their reckoning -- of Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital,” Businessweek reports.
“Afterward, Spielberg insisted that Messina sit down with the DreamWorks marketing team. Hollywood movie studios are expert, as presidential campaigns also must be, at spending huge sums over a few weeks to reach and motivate millions of Americans,” the report adds.
“When people say, ‘How’s the Bain thing playing?’ it doesn’t matter what the set of 'Morning Joe' has to say about it,” said Obama campaign strategist David Plouffe.
“But if you’re a 45-year-old swing voter in Toledo, Ohio, what are you seeing? What’s in your local newspaper? What ads are running? And what’s going on in the local field operation? That’s what really matters,” he adds.
True, swing voters decide elections. But what happens when voters are more interested in stories about prominent Democrats distancing themselves from attacks on Romney’s “sterling record” than they are in the attacks themselves?