We should have known that it was only a matter of time before our mobile phones became the lastest political rally.
Prepare for text messages, video clips, and a whirlwind of news and rumors from your favorite or despised Democrats and Republicans this summer. The presidential candidates have apparently become the newest products on display through mobile marketing.
Political oddcouple and former presidential candidates Senator John Edwards and Senator Fred Thompson spoke at the Day Three keynote presentation at CTIA Wireless 2008, which, by most accounts, ultimately had very little to do with issues pertinent to the mobile industry. Instead the former candidates spoke about how mobile phones and marketing could change the landscape of American politics and forever influence how money is raised and campaigns are presented.
“Wireless has changed the basic dynamic of how we fund campaigns,” said John Edwards. “We invited voters to text the word ‘Hope’ to join our campaign, and had literally tens of thousands who signed up. What happens is these technologies democratize the process–instead of a few who control funding and access, it’s now being dispersed…Wireless takes us to a new dimension.”
Similarly, Senator Thompson’s address also spoke to the mobile industry’s role in American politics and emphasized how “you can’t get away with nothin’ anymore” particularly in terms of how mobile platforms may help keep candidates accuontable.
The major news networks have begun reporting that all major candidates have begun courting young, independent voters with mobile marketing political campaigns that rely heavily on text messaging and news updates.
Although the invited speakers were expected to comment on lawmakers’ impact on wireless technology, Edwards and Thompson instead outlined “their respective views on the state of American politics, culture and society” as the upcoming presidential election looms.Â Disparaging the media’s “focus on the superficial,” Edwards argued that the American people deserve a “daily dialogue” with presidential candidates that would showcase how each candidate would address particualr hot-button issues like the economy, the environment or healthcare if he or she becomes president. Senator Thompson agreed that “mobile technology is important to provide this sort of information and connection.”
Otherwise politically opposed, both Edwards and Thompson agreed that the enormous impact of mobile marketing and the internet will permanently influence how campaigns are operated and how political messages are absorbed.