In 2002 the Internet was still in it’s infancy. There were an estimated 3 million web sites globally. By 2012 there were over 555 million websites. In 2002 web page loading time was considered lightening fast at 16 seconds. A decade later the average load time was 6 seconds.
In 2002 the race for Arizona governor was a heated match between two of the state’s most prominent politicians: Attorney General Janet Napolitano (D) versus former Congressman Matt Salmon (R).
In the last weeks before Election Day the race was deemed a “toss-up.” The Internet as a campaign vehicle was a political mystery, “black box.”
Bob Grossfeld and his company The Media Guys were asked to create a film to be played on the Internet in support of Napolitano. There were two purposes:
- Explain a complicated story about Salmon’s business activities and,
- Distract the Salmon campaign in the final days leading up to the Election Day knowing that they were using the Internet and certainly would see the film.
By today’s standards the resulting “iFilm” was too long and wouldn’t hold anyone’s attention for it’s 6 minutes running time. But in 2002 it was a breakthrough that pushed the Salmon campaign into “damage control” mode instead of getting out their voters.
Election Day 2002 Napolitano ecks out a win over Salmon 46.19% to 45.22%