Nearly 59 percent, more than $3 million, of Obama's campaign coffers have been doled out to Google so far this year, according to FEC reports compiled by ClickZ News.
Barack Obama's presidential campaign receives oodles of praise for its online campaign strategy, and Google is reaping the monetary rewards. So far this year, Obama for America has plunked down over $5 million on online advertising. While Google has by far grabbed the most cash from the Illinois Senator's presidential campaign, Yahoo and various local media outlets have also scored.
Between January and July of this year, the Obama campaign clearly has experimented with a variety of Web advertising tactics, from search ads and ad network purchases to direct buys on online news outlets and social sites.
|Estimated Online Ad Expenditures by Obama for America, January-July 2008|
|Media Firm||Amount Paid|
|Source: FEC data compiled by ClickZ News|
According to Federal Election Commission report expenditures compiled by ClickZ News, nearly 59 percent -- more than $3 million -- of Obama's campaign coffers have been doled out to Google. At a distant second is Yahoo, which garnered just under 12 percent, or approximately $618,000 between January and July. The two top earners indicate the importance of search advertising, and to a smaller degree, targeted display advertising to the Democratic hopeful's Web strategy.
In total, the campaign paid nearly $5.2 million to online media sellers thus far in 2008. The online ad spending estimates were determined by compiling individual expenditures shown in line items in Obama's FEC filings reported over the past year. Most likely, outlying payments made in July, and possibly June, will appear in subsequent reports.
Another major recipient of Obama bucks was lesser-known firm Centro. The local ad company has made several ad buys on local newspaper, TV station and radio sites on behalf of the campaign. Though some of the $512,550 paid to Chicago-based Centro may have gone towards services and fees costs, the bulk of that money went to display ads targeted to voters in specific states or regions.
Recently, for instance, Centro placed ads on a long list of local radio station and newspaper Web sites based in swing states including Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada, Missouri, Florida, and Virginia.
CNN.com and Microsoft each gathered approximately $215,000 from Obama for America; each represented about 4 percent of the campaign's online ad spending this year. Though the CNN payments were for display ads run on the Turner Broadcasting System news site, it's unclear how much went towards MSN search as opposed to display advertising.
The CNN payments were among about 7 percent that were made directly to individual Web sites, rather than landing on sites through ad network buys. Sites including Politico, WashingtonPost.com, Time.com, Gothamist and TheAtlantic.com garnered over $384,000 in ads bought direct through their sales teams all together through July, each scoring less than 2 percent of Obama's campaign cash.
The Obama camp has been using ad networks other than Google's content network, throughout the election season; however, large ad networks such as Advertising.com have barely made a blip on the screen. The AOL-owned network grabbed only $20,000 so far, according to FEC filings. Another big network, Valueclick, hasn't shown up in Obama's reports at all. All together, only about 4 percent of the campaign's dollars have been spent with ad networks, most of them performance-based, including AOL-owned Quigo, Pulse360, Microsoft-owned DrivePM, and Specific Media. In March, online video ad network Broadband Enterprises collected the largest chunk of all ad networks -- $80,000.
Although this election has become synonymous with social media, from user-generated commentary to up-to-the-second Twitter posts, social networking sites scored under 4 percent of Obama's online ad budget through July. Facebook has gathered the most so far -- around $112,000 or 2 percent. Community Connect, publisher of ethnic and lifestyle-oriented social networks like MiGente.com and Glee.com, collected about $64,400. Meanwhile, social network giant MySpace saw a mere $11,500 early in the year.
View related Obama campaign online ad spending coverage from ClickZ News:
Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco (August 10-12)!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda offers 9 tracks to cover every aspect of digital marketing. Join over 500 digital marketers and expert speakers from leading brands. Register today!
Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.
E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.