How Political Forces Want to Use Facebook, Farmville for 2012 Election

According to a Gamasutra report pointing to an article in The San Francisco Chronicle Blog, a political consultant for Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn) Presidential campaign wants to use Zynga's popular Facebook game FarmVille to reach out to voters. The idea, conceived by political consultant Michael Hendrix of Dallas, Texas, wants to use FarmVille farms to place political signs on users’ farms so that other players can see them and gives those that support her the ability to go "door-to-door" to campaign. I had a nightmare similar to this once, where Pat Buchanan was the final boss in Quake..

There is also another component that will reportedly allow candidates to target campaign ads to individuals in new ways on Facebook.

"They may not know we're looking for them," said Rebecca Donatelli of social-media consulting firm Campaign Solutions, who works on behalf of Bachmann. "So we have to give them the opportunity to be found."

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the "ads use information Facebook constantly collects about its users to connect with people."

"In the last 45 days, I've designed over 1,000 ads," said Michael Beach, a GOP consultant working for Romney.

"We'll throw out four or five different messages targeting different demographics," said Michael Hendrix, a consultant in Dallas who works on the Bachmann campaign. "You're trying to figure out which message will drive a higher response."

While being targeted with ads by Facebook is one thing, being targeted inside a game is another.

Hendrix is working on what he calls "the gamification of politics." where he sees a demographic that Republican candidates can target for the 2012 election. Reportedly Hendrix has created software that will allow FarmVille players to get politically active in the game in ways we mentioned earlier.

"The majority of social gamers are stay-at-home moms over 38," said Hendrix. He hopes to use the game "to target soccer moms again."

Zynga has not confirmed that they are cooperating with any political campaigns or if they will allow Hendrix to deploy his special add-on for FarmVille or any other game on Facebook.

Source: Gamasutra, San Francisco Chronicle, Blog

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  1. 0
    Craig R. says:

    FB is a lot less annoying once you block all the crappy apps like Farmville (although then they go and change things).

    I generally play games to escape this kind of crap, not to deal with more of it.

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