Can SMS Get McCain Elected?

Written on
Jul 14, 2008 
Bob Bentz  |

ADOTAS EXCLUSIVE — John McCain is out of touch …with the American public.

At a time when nearly 60% of Americans use text messaging, how does the McCain campaign not have a text messaging element?

Text messaging today is as important to the American public as the fireside chats of the FDR era that targeted radio listeners. In fact, statistically, text messaging is more important than radio was in the 1930’s.

Barack Obama is using a cutting edge text message solution to sway voters. Last summer, the Illinois senator launched a text message initiative to organize volunteers and encourage supports to text GO to 62262 (OBAMA).

The Obama campaign’s site offers free ringtones from Obama’s speeches, Obama wallpapers, and voters can send questions to get policy statements. The text campaign also includes information on how to donate or volunteer for the campaign.

Obama’s text campaign is also the only one to regionalize its database. This has been valuable in getting the public out to see the senator during his local political speeches.

While Obama’s text message campaign may be the most active, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards actually had their text message campaigns going before Obama did and former President Bill Clinton has recently stated that he’s no longer a text message virgin either. But, Ms. Clinton’s campaign failed to use a vanity short code and never got the recognition that Obama’s did thus causing Clinton to fall short with her text campaign and in the primary election.

Text message campaigns on the political front are clearly here to stay. A University of Michigan and Princeton University study found that using text messages to remind voters to get out and vote increase voter participation by 4% among young voters. You can bet Obama will be sending reminders on Election Day.

The efforts of Obama and Clinton contrast starkly to the John McCain campaign that has yet to add any element of mobile marketing. It’s not surprising given his age. Only 11% of those over 65 use text messages.

Maybe that’s one reason why Barack Obama has a huge advantage among younger voters. When it comes to text messaging, John McCain just doesn’t get it.

Bob Bentz is president of Advanced Telecom Services which provides mobile marketing solutions through its 84444.com web site.

Bob received 6472 text messages last month...most of them were mobile advertising.

Reader Comments.

Well, if this post on youtube is any indication (and I promise we had nothing to do with this one!) perhaps the ole Video Professor can get the Senator started!


Posted by Brian Olson | 11:29 am on July 15, 2008.

I don’t understand the headline of this article at all.

Posted by Travis | 11:26 am on July 19, 2008.

Travis: I agree with your comment. My headline was “John McCain is out of Touch,” but Adotas liked theirs better. Anyway, I am very thankful for the opportunity and hope you’ll read my article now that McCain is finally in touch!

Posted by Bob Bentz | 10:03 pm on February 4, 2010.

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