Home About Chat Users Issues Party Candidates Polling Firms Media News Polls Calendar Key Races United States President Senate House Governors International

"A historical political resource." 
Email: Password:

  Hillsman, Bill
NameBill Hillsman
Minneapolis, Minnesota , United States
Website [Link]
Born August 14, 1953 (68 years)
Last ModifedCraverguy
Sep 21, 2009 06:21am
Tags Caucasian -
InfoBill Hillsman, the founder and driving force behind North Woods Advertising, is the creator of some of the most successful and attention-getting marketing campaigns of the past few decades. His commercial advertising work for clients like the nation's largest enclosed shopping center, Mall of America, and America's fastest-growing cereal company, Malt-o-Meal, have generated impressive results on comparatively small budgets.

His political work for the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's 1990 campaign won the Grand EFFIE - awarded by the American Marketing Association for the most effective marketing and advertising in the nation - and changed political advertising in the process.

And his work for Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial campaign in 1998 received even more accolades and is generally considered to be the biggest upset in American political history.

Bill was named a Resident Fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics in the spring of 2002. That fall, he served in Washington as Director of Communications for interim U.S. Senator Dean Barkley (I-MN).

In 2003, Bill created critically acclaimed television advertisements that propelled political neophyte John Hickenlooper to mayor of Denver. In fact, the successful communications campaign enabled Hickenlooper to run up the largest margin of victory ever in Denver's mayoral election. Bill also worked on Arianna Huffington's independent campaign for governor during the California recall election of 2003.

In 2004, Bill supervised and integrated all marketing communications for the successful launch of the national Air America Radio network. He also helped launch the nonpartisan Iraq veteran's organization Operation Truth, and founded the organization Independent Voters of America. In 2006, Bill helped elect the youngest mayor in Washington D.C.'s history, Adrian Fenty; and worked for Massachusetts independent gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos and Texas independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman. He helped engineer political unknown Ned Lamont's upset of the three-term Democratic incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut primary - pioneering the approach that Democrats all around the country would use to take back the House and Senate.

His powerful ad for the VoteVets independent expenditure group contributed to narrow election victories by Senators Jim Webb in Virginia, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, and Jon Tester in Montana, as well as Bob Casey's victory over Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania.

In 2008, Hillsman's positioning and advertising for Democrat Alan Grayson helped him to a major upset in the Republican 8th Congressional District around Orlando, Florida. North Woods' work for Democratic senatorial candidate Jim Slattery in Kansas and the company's anti-Sarah Palin ad for the National Nurses' Organizing Committee were among the best known non-presidential campaign ads in the 2008 election cycle.

Bill's commentary on marketing, advertising, and politics has appeared on the editorial pages of the New York Times, NBC's Today show, National Public Radio, CNN, C-SPAN, The Nation, George, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), Japanese and German television, and in well-known blogs such as the Huffington Post and Daily Kos.

Advertising Age named Hillsman to the Marketing 100, their annual selection of the 100 best marketing people in America. He has also been named one of Minnesota's "100 Most Influential People" and one of the "100 Smartest People In Minnesota" by Minnesota Law & Politics, as well as one of "100 Minnesotans To Watch" and one of Minnesota's 75 "Best Brains" by Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine.

His work for clients such as Mall of America, Ralph Nader for President, Twin Cities Public Television, the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA team, Republic Airlines, Arctic Cat snowmobiles, the Minnesota AIDS Consortium, the Air Line Pilots Association, U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, Mayor Sharon Sayles-Belton, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, and Governor Jesse Ventura have become textbook cases in marketing communications and advertising.

Most recently, he has been profiled on ABC's Nightline and in the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Christian Science Monitor, PR Week, Salon, Slate (which dubbed him "the world's greatest political adman"), and Brill's Content, which named him to the "Influence List 2000," fifty high-impact people (including Oprah Winfrey, the late Tim Russert, J.K. Rowling, and Katie Couric) who shape our world by influencing our media and our culture.

Bill's book, Run the Other Way: Fixing the Two-Party System, One Campaign at a Time, was published in 2004 by The Free Press/Simon & Schuster.


Title Purchase Contributor
Run the Other Way: Fixing the Two-Party System, One Campaign at a Time  Purchase Craverguy 

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Nov 03, 2008 06:00am Profile Bill Hillsman: Not politics as usual  Article Craverguy 
Sep 26, 2006 07:00am Profile Bill Hillsman (North Woods Advertising)  Article Craverguy 
Jul 06, 2006 06:00am Profile Reducing the campaign snooze factor  Article Craverguy 
Sep 13, 2004 06:00am Interview How to Run the Other Way  Article Craverguy 
Sep 24, 2000 06:00am Advertisement Questions for Bill Hillsman; Pitching for the Green Team  Article Craverguy 
Jul 31, 2000 08:30pm Profile Bill Hillsman  Article Craverguy 

Importance? 0.00000 Average


SD Governor - D Primary - Jun 08, 2010 D Scott N. Heidepriem
NJ Governor - Nov 03, 2009 I Chris Daggett
IL District 5 - Special D Primary - Mar 03, 2009 D Charles Wheelan
KS US Senate - Nov 04, 2008 D James C. "Jim" Slattery
MN US Senate - Nov 04, 2008 MNI Dean M. Barkley
FL District 8 - Nov 04, 2008 D Alan Grayson
FL District 8 - D Primary - Aug 26, 2008 D Alan Grayson
DC Mayor - Nov 07, 2006 D Adrian Fenty
CT US Senate - Nov 07, 2006 D Ned Lamont
MA Governor - Nov 07, 2006 R Christy P. Mihos
TX Governor - Nov 07, 2006 I Kinky Friedman
DC Mayor - D Primary - Sep 12, 2006 D Adrian Fenty
CT US Senate - D Primary - Aug 08, 2006 D Ned Lamont
VA Governor - Nov 08, 2005 R H. Russell "Russ" Potts, Jr.
MN US President - Nov 02, 2004 I Ralph Nader
US President - Popular Vote - Nov 02, 2004 I Ralph Nader
IL US Senate - R Primary - Mar 16, 2004 R Jack Ryan
CA Governor Recall - Oct 07, 2003 I Arianna Huffington
Denver Mayor - Runoff - Jun 03, 2003 D John Hickenlooper
Denver Mayor - May 06, 2003 D John Hickenlooper
MN US Senate Appointment - Oct 25, 2002 MNI Dean M. Barkley
FL US Senate - Nov 07, 2000 D Willie F. Logan
MN US President - Nov 07, 2000 I Ralph Nader
US President - Popular Vote - Nov 07, 2000 I Ralph Nader
MN District 4 - DFL Primary - Sep 12, 2000 DFL Chris Coleman
MN US Senate - DFL Primary - Sep 12, 2000 DFL Michael V. "Mike" Ciresi
MN Governor - Nov 03, 1998 G Jesse Ventura
MN Governor - DFL Primary - Sep 15, 1998 DFL Douglas J. "Doug" Johnson
MN Governor - Nov 08, 1994 DFL John J. Marty
MN Governor - DFL Primary - Sep 13, 1994 DFL Tony Bouza
Minneapolis Mayor - Nov 02, 1993 DFL Sharon Sayles Belton
MN US President - Nov 03, 1992 R H. Ross Perot
US President - Popular Vote - Nov 03, 1992 R H. Ross Perot
MN US President - D Primary - Apr 07, 1992 D Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown, Jr.
MN US Senate - Nov 06, 1990 DFL Paul Wellstone
MN US Senate - DFL Primary - Sep 11, 1990 DFL Paul Wellstone
MN US President - Nov 04, 1980 I John B. Anderson
MN US President - Nov 02, 1976 D Jimmy Carter
MN US President - Nov 07, 1972 D George S. McGovern