Quinn campaign targets younger voters

Gov. Pat Quinn’s gubernatorial campaign attempts to mitigate the reduced impact of traditional advertising with “Quinn Stories,” a weekly series of two-minute webisodes designed to reach voters who might otherwise be overlooked by conventional campaign strategies.

“Quinn Stories,” produced by director Barry Poltermann’s About Face Media, began in November and will continue through the Feb. 2 gubernatorial primary.

The Dec. 1 video shows Quinn addressing the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen Association alongside his gubernatorial primary opponent, state comptroller Dan Hynes.

It features Quinn finance director David Rosen directly speaking to his belief in Quinn’s candidacy.

Rose, a veteran of Bill Clinton’s presidential and Hilary Clinton’s senatorial campaigns, says documentary-style “Quinn Stories” is designed to appeal to particularly younger voters.

“[They] don’t watch television or read newspapers anymore but are increasingly watching videos on their iPhone and sharing [content] on Twitter and Facebook.”

“What’s scary for campaigns, and what’s seen as innovative, although it isn’t really innovative since Obama, is that they can’t control the message,” Rosen says. “In paid media you shoot it and push it one way to people watching.”

To reach web-savvy votes, “you have to let go of your paradigm of one-way communication and have some confidence to put the content out there and let the conversation begin.”

The campaign is covering “Quinn Stories'” relatively modest cost by reducing the budget for direct mail. Rosen notes direct mail is only read by 1-3% of recipients, its benefit isn’t effectively measurable, and has a disproportionate environmental impact.

Still, 95% of the Quinn campaign’s media budget is still in TV ads, but Rosen characterizes the webisodes as “an important space for growth.”

He cites the Obama presidential campaign as the first one that effectively harnessed Web 2.0 technologies to generate substantial turnout among young voters, a model he hopes to replicate in this and future campaigns, as the web grows in relative importance to other media as an outreach tool.

About Face was founded in 2007 by CEO Barry Polterman of L’Orange Studios, COO Denise McKee of LimeLife, Inc., and executive producer David Dahlman, and has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Poltermann’s home town of Milwaukee.

About Face employs a roster of documentary veterans to produce branded content for corporate, nonprofit, and political clients nationwide, with an emphasis on conveying spontaneity and authenticity.

Some of their film credits include Polterman (editor of Chris Smith’s “American Movie,” and his new “Collapse”), Dahlman (co-director with Smith of “The Yes Men”), Sarah Price (co-director and co-producer of “The Yes Men,” producer of “American Movie”) and Pat Buckley (producer and co-director of “William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet”).

About Face Media’s sales office is at 431 W. Oakdale. Call 312/895-4552 ext. 716 to reach Dick Gillespie. See wp.aboutfacemedia.com.

See the “Quinn Stories” at ?