Parscale in November 2017
Bradley James Parscale|
January 3, 1976
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
University of Texas, San Antonio|
Trinity University (BS)
|Office||Trump Campaign Manager|
|Personal Aide to the President of the United States|
Assumed office |
Brad Parscale (born January 3, 1976) was the digital media director for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and now serves as the campaign manager for Trump's 2020 reelection campaign. Parscale began working for the Trump Organization in 2011, developing and designing websites and creating and managing digital media strategies. In early 2015, Trump hired Parscale and his firm, Giles-Parscale, to create a website for his exploratory campaign.
When Trump declared himself a Republican candidate in 2015, one of the first people he called was Parscale, asking him to update his exploratory campaign site into a "full-fledged presidential campaign website." Throughout the Republican primary, Parscale was responsible for the Donald J. Trump for President website, as well as for digital media strategy and online fundraising campaigns. In June 2016, Parscale was officially named digital media director for the Donald J. Trump for President campaign, overseeing all aspects of digital media and online fundraising, as well as traditional media strategy, like radio and television placements.
In January 2017, Parscale, along with another senior Trump aide, Nick Ayers, formally launched America First Policies, a non-profit organization that promotes President Trump's agenda and White House initiatives.
Early life and education
Parscale was born in Topeka, Kansas. His father, Dwight Parscale, was an assistant attorney general and ran for Congress at the age of 28. Dwight Parscale owned a restaurant and later became the CEO of NewTek, a Topeka-based company (now located in San Antonio, Texas) that creates live and post-production video hardware and tools, as well as visual imaging software for personal computers. His mother, Rita Parscale, was a small business owner.
Parscale attended Shawnee Heights High School in Tecumseh, Kansas and moved to Texas before his family to attend college. His father, while visiting, decided to move NewTek to San Antonio. Parscale showed interest in computers while still young. He once discovered a glitch in a program and engaged Microsoft support all night over the phone to resolve the issue.
Growing to 6’8”, Parscale played basketball in high school, then attended the University of Texas at San Antonio on an athletic scholarship. An injury sidelined his sports career early. He later attended Trinity University in San Antonio where he earned a degree in finance, international business and economics in 1999.
Parscale has said that after graduating from Trinity, he spent $500 to start his business. Parscale also co-founded SATechBloc, an organization focused on supporting San Antonio's technology sector.
2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign
In 2011, Giles-Parscale was brought into the Trump Organization, with Parscale being considered a "digital guru", to provide website design and development—and digital media strategy—for Trump International Realty. Parscale continued his business relationship with the Trump Organization, providing digital media services to Trump Winery and the Eric Trump Foundation. In early 2015, Giles-Parscale was hired to create a website for President Donald Trump's exploratory campaign, charging $1,500 for the site. Through the entire election cycle, Giles-Parscale was paid $94 million by the Trump campaign. In 2016 Parscale was named the campaign's digital director.
Parscale used social media advertisements with an experiment based strategy of different face expressions, font colors and slogans like "Basket of Deplorables." Parscale's specific roles included heading the oversight of the digital advertising, TV advertising, small dollar fundraising, direct mail, political and advertising budget, and was also the RNC liaison working daily with Katie Walsh who was then the Republican National Committee's chief of staff. He was also the head of the data science and research, which included polling. Parscale claims that after realizing Virginia and Ohio were unable to be swayed, he decided to re-allocate the campaign resources to Michigan and Wisconsin. This shift included the decision to send Trump to Michigan and Wisconsin and focus efforts heavily on the two states. This decision was instrumental in winning the election as Trump won both the historically democratic states.
Parscale used employees from Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other platforms heavily for the campaign advertisements and embedded them on his staff to navigate the Facebook, Twitter, and Google platforms so that his staff would utilize all of these platform's capabilities. He denied having any assistance linked to Russia. Parscale did not have data scientists or any digital team during the Republican Primary and did much of the social media advertising from his home. He would also stage competitions between tech companies to drive the lowest cost of buying on Facebook (programmatic) as well as other platforms.
Parscale was able to utilize Facebook advertising to directly target individual voters in swing states. Parscale cited the example on 60 Minutes that he was able to target specific universes (audiences) who care about infrastructure and promote Trump and his message to build back up the crumbling American infrastructure. Although he hired Cambridge Analytica to assist with microtargeting and Cambridge Analytica stated that it was the key to Trump's victory, Parscale denied that he gained assistance from the firm because he thinks that Cambridge Analytica's use of psychographics doesn't work. According to Parscale, the Clinton Campaign turned down assistance from these platforms. As Parscale stated during his 60 Minutes interview:
I understood early that Facebook was how Donald Trump was going to win. Twitter is how he talked to the people. Facebook was going to be how he won.
The Trump campaign initially had solely Donald Trump's personal funding to back his campaign. Parscale set up a major grassroots campaign on Facebook that brought in funding quickly from across the U.S. Parscale attributed the success of his vast social media presence to using the assistance offered by companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Google. He said that because the Trump campaign intended to spend $100 million on social media, companies in that area were prepared to assist the campaign in using that money effectively.
“The campaign poured money into Facebook, sending thousands of versions of tweaked ads to maximize response. Then it won the presidency by a margin narrow enough that Parscale (and Facebook) can justifiably take credit.”— Philip Bump, The Washington Post
The database of voter information that drove Parscale's social media advertising campaigns in the 2016 election was dubbed "Project Alamo", a name which eventually encompassed all of the associated fundraising and political advertising efforts.
2020 Donald Trump presidential campaign
On February 27, 2018 President Trump named Parscale his 2020 re-election campaign manager.
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