Obama: Immunity not that important. Won't support filibuster
Election 2008 June 24, 2008
Obama's Secret Digital Weapon
Blue State helped create the Web machine that brought in the bucks and built the buzz. Now it's looking to sign up more corporate clients
by Tom Lowry
Since Senator Barack Obama announced that he would forgo public financing for his Presidential bid, even more is being made of his campaign's prowess at raising record sums on the Web. Obama seems to have an almost magical ability to generate a spontaneous upwelling of political and financial support.
In fact, the presumed Democratic nominee has a secret weapon. It's a small, obscure firm called Blue State Digital, a market research-New Media hybrid that has played an instrumental role in fostering Obamamania. The campaign declined to discuss Blue State, but the firm says its handiwork and technology can be seen in the more than $200 million Obama has raised online, the 2 million phone calls made on the candidate's behalf, and in barackobama.com's social network of 850,000 users, who have organized 50,000 campaign events.
Besides Obama, Blue State has attracted more than 100 clients, including such widely known corporate names as AT&T (T) and Stonyfield Farm. There is also talk that the firm could continue playing a role as a contractor in an Obama White House. "Blue State is using technology to give people a chance to become involved, whether it's a voter or a customer," says film marketer Lisa Smithline. While director of creative marketing at independent film company Focus Features in 2006, Smithline hired Blue State to promote the Iraq war documentary The Ground Truth through a vigorous Web campaign that generated 500 screenings in churches and community centers. "They cross over and really reach those who have never been reached before," she says.