Case studies emt santos


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Case studies emt santos

  1. 1. Case Studies Information Results Facts By Luis G. Lopez, Ravi Singh,where everyday is a campaign & Dr. Dennis Anderson
  2. 2. Table of Contents Colombia Ups the Ante in Latin American E-Democracy Introduction Fate & Setup The tactics – 50 days to catch up Colombians respond Landslide victory The Future of E-Democracy in Colombia
  3. 3. Colombia Ups the Ante in Latin American E-DemocracyIntroductionby Luis G. Lopez, Ravi Singh, and Dr. Dennis Anderson / Sep 28 2010By the end of April in Colombia, former Bogota mayor Antanas Mockus’ Green Wave had become aserious challenge to Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian presidential candidate who was synonymousto continuation of outgoing President Álvaro Uribe’s popular 8-year term. Appealing to a large mass ofidealistic youngsters, who comprised a high percentage of the estimated 15 million-plus Internet usersin Colombia, Mockus was king of the digital world, with more than 600,000 fans on Facebook, a strongfollowing on Twitter, and banner ads running in all leading publications in the country.Enter an 80-person strong Internet task force assembled in just 72 hours in a war room in Bogota, led and local operatives. The challenges: neutralize the Green Wave; appeal to a pool ofyoung voters who were digital-savvy and thirsty for change; bring innovative technology to Colombia’spolitical landscape. And of course, get Santos elected.
  4. 4. Colombia Ups the Ante in Latin American E-DemocracyFate & Setupby Luis G. Lopez, Ravi Singh, and Dr. Dennis Anderson / Sep 28 2010When Ravi Singh, founder and CEO of, a non-partisan technology company poweredby Microsoft, landed in Colombia for the first time, he was to speak in Medellin and head straight backhome to Washington D.C. Little did he know that Santiago Valencia, a young Colombian politician,would lure him into a great e-democracy adventure: Recovering 6-12 months of lost time in digitalinitiatives, and catch up to Mockus’ leadership on the Web, in less than 50 days. With a client list thathas exceeded 1,000 campaigns under his belt, and an ongoing negotiation to become Microsoft’spolitical software arm in the works, Singh went straight to work. With a 24/7 work discipline, and a brutaldrive that overcame culture, nationality and race, Mr. Singh convinced the Santos campaign and Sistole– a direct marketing agency that is part of Sancho’s, the candidate’s advertising agency - to build adigital War Room in little less than three days. The War Room included a mesh of local staff that grewfrom 5 to 80 in aweek; fully-secure network servers; BlackBerrys for the entire team; iPhones for theadvanced task force; video streaming from live events; a walled-off conference room, balcony, loft-styleliving room space, a metricswall, and an abundant supply of Red Bull, potato chips, candy andanti-bacterial soap.
  5. 5. Colombia Ups the Ante in Latin American E-DemocracyThe tactics – 50 days to catch upby Luis G. Lopez, Ravi Singh, and Dr. Dennis Anderson / Sep 28 2010On day one, the candidate’s official website went pitch-black. It wasn’t a local hacker or neighboringVenezuela launching a cyber attack. It was actually the beginning of a 50-day, highly-orchestrated set oftactics that had one goal in mind: Getting Santos elected. With individuals responding to names like Mr.Twitter, Ms. Delicious, Video-guy, or Mr. SMS – the team’s operatives were rolling. Tactics were laid outacross the War Room in sequential order: A countdown from day 50 (roughly May 3rd), all the way today zero (June 20th, second-round Election Day). The team would execute precise tactics, and thecompetition would wake up to them and respond a week or so later.Among the most innovative tactics were an iPhone app, where users received daily feeds from The UParty (Santo’s political party) and general election and candidate news; an advanced team feeding livestreams via Ustream with iPhones from the towns or cities where Santos campaigned; an SMS shortcode (677) that worked across all national carriers (Comcel, Movistar, Tigo) for opt-in SMS strategies ledby local company SigmaMovil; pop-corn debate watch parties (including instructions for preparingpop-corn); targeted search engine marketing; cascade-style online advertising, and a real-time Wall ofShame, where any citizen could post offensive material related to any candidate, in order to combat thedirty war that was happening across social media.The Mockus started emulating the Santos tactics, almost one by one, but with a one-week delay. Andwhen the Mockus campaign began its rebuttal, the Santos campaign was already launching a new tactic.
  6. 6. Colombia Ups the Ante in Latin American E-DemocracyColombians respondby Luis G. Lopez, Ravi Singh, and Dr. Dennis Anderson / Sep 28 2010Within 3 weeks of the Internet Task Force’s efforts, a shift in perception was achieved: Santos went from“old-school” and “boring” to become a superhero with an exciting SUPER SANTOS video game, wherethe candidate fought poverty, corruption, unemployment and drug trafficking in a Super Mario Bros-likeenvironment. The main Web site – – received more than 40,000 visits each day.More than 4 million opt-in e-mails were assembled in 6 weeks. Individual tactics like the Baby-Santosvideo were receiving 11,000 views a single day. Mockus also experiences a number of high profile gaffes– saying he “admired” unpopular Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and that he’d extradite currentColombian President Uribe to Ecuador – which the Santo campaign aggressively highlighted in its onlinemessaging.In the first-round of balloting on May 30th, Santos totaled nearly 7 million votes, and doubled theopposition by 47 to 22 percent with seven other candidates dividing the rest of the vote. Far fromconsidering “a job done,” the Internet Task Force, at that point being dubbed “The Web 2.0 VictoryTeam,” went into high-gear.
  7. 7. Colombia Ups the Ante in Latin American E-DemocracyLandslide victoryby Luis G. Lopez, Ravi Singh, and Dr. Dennis Anderson / Sep 28 2010It would be too ambitious to say that the Web 2.0 Victory Team got Santos elected. Or that – like was thecase in the United States with Barack Obama – the elections were defined online. But, it is fair to saythat, for a people who didn’t quite grasp the power of digital media before the 2010 presidentialelections, history was made.Juan Manuel Santos, now a Blackberry-toting, tweeting citizen, is committed to continue usingtechnology, social media, and innovations on the web, to stay close to the citizens. With a highly profileddatabase and an understanding of the power of the Web, Santos will continue to use the technology inhis government. Colombia, now one of the most solid democracies in Latin America, was recentlydubbed the “Star of the South” by U.S.-based Newsweek magazine. The country showed the world asuccessful electoral process in 2010. The use of the Internet, Social Media, Mobile Marketing, OnlineVideos, and Search technologies among others gave the Santos campaign an edge that caught thecompetition – and the country – by surprise, and that contributed to a victory that was well received bymost Colombians and the international community.Luis G. Lopez is director of LGL/Latin Medios, a digital agency in Bogota. A self-proclaimed Digital Freak, he actedas head liaison for Ravi Singh in the Internet Task Force. Ravi Singh, known as the “Campaign Guru” is CEO andFounder of, a non-partisan political technology company powered by Microsoft. Dr. DennisAnderson, co-author, is chairman and professor of management and information technology at St. Francis Collegein New York City. He received his Ph.D. and M.Phil. from Columbia University.
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