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Clinton on CNN Only, McCain on Conservative Sites and Networks in April

  |  May 29, 2007   |  Comments

UPDATE AdRelevance data show the two presidential campaigns ran thousands of Web ad impressions during the month of April, but took very different approaches.

ClickZ_Campaign08_katefinal.jpgUPDATE:In November 2007, Nielsen Online AdRelevance, formerly Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance, provided ClickZ News with revised data on political advertisers for the months of April through September 2007. The amended information affected several stories, including this one, published by ClickZ during that time period. Detailed corrections can be found below the following original story.*

Original Story:

Beyond the exploratory committee phase, Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and John McCain appear to be in the online ad exploration phase. Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance data show the candidates' campaigns ran thousands of Web ad impressions during the month of April. A look at ad creative, site targeting and landing pages offers a glimpse into the different approaches each campaign is taking in these very early days.

According to AdRelevance, the Hillary Clinton for President Exploratory Committee ran 395,000 ad impressions in April 2007 on CNN.com, targeted to News, World and Politics content. Meanwhile, John McCain 2008 ran over 11.5 million impressions that month, through ad networks as well as targeted to niche audiences on financial sites and conservative opinion and community site Townhall.com.

Besides running far more ad impressions, the McCain campaign also appears to be far more experimental than Clinton's when it comes to ad creative. While the Clinton campaign ran four different Flash-based ad creatives in three different units, the McCain effort tried at least 14 unique Flash-based and simple GIF creatives in a variety of sizes, from buttons to leaderboards.

The Clinton campaign ads had one of two calls to action. "Sign the Petition," was an invitation to sign a petition to end President Bush's veto threat against Iraq War-related legislation. The softer "Join the Conversation" led to a page prompting users to register and learn more about the Democratic Senator's campaign.

Ad calls to action for Republican Senator McCain took a variety of tacks, urging users to "Take the survey," "Join John McCain," "Support John McCain," "Sign the Petition today," "Learn More," and even "Click Here." Some ads led to a survey related to government "pork barrel" spending, and others drove traffic to a petition to stop such wasteful government spending. Additional ads drove users to a petition for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq, and or sent users to a donation page or the campaign site's homepage.

The McCain campaign also experimented with a wide range of approaches, from tough to silly. Some ads declared, "Failure in Iraq is not an option," and others that ran on financial sites goofed, "$100 million tax dollars for citrus assistance? Orange You Outraged?"

Here's a more detailed look at ads run by the two campaigns in April:

April 2007 Ads by
Hillary Clinton for President
Exploratory Committee
Ad Copy Call to Action Ad Sizes Number of Impressions Sites/Networks
"Sign the petition to stop the Bush veto of the will of the people. Start bringing our troops home." "Sign the Petition" 160x600 Skyscraper, 336x280 Large Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 95,000 CNN/News, CNN/Politics
"Your signature can be as powerful as President Bush's. Tell Bush: listen to the people on Iraq Sign the Petition. End the Veto threat." "Sign the Petition" 160x600 Skyscraper, 336x280 Large Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 84,000 CNN/News, CNN/Politics
"Want to change the White House? Give 'em Hill! HillaryClinton.com" "Join the Conversation" 160x600 Skyscraper, 336x280 Large Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 96,000 CNN/News, CNN/World
"Hillary would love a word with you. Iraq. Healthcare. Energy. Katrina. Children. Jobs. America." "Join the Conversation" 160x600 Skyscraper, 336x280 Large Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 109,000 CNN/News, CNN/World
Source: Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance, 2007

Giveemhill

stopbushveto.jpg

April 2007 Ads by John McCain 2008
Ad Copy Call to Action Ad Sizes Number of Impressions Sites/Networks
"Surrender is not an option." "Sign the Petition today" 234x60 Half Banner, 120x90 Button, 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 6,072,000 Valueclick, TownHall.com
"America Deserves Experience. America Deserves Straight Talk. McCain." "Join John McCain" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard, 336x280 Large Rectangle, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper 1,130,000 Google, TheStreet.com
"America Deserves Leadership. America Deserves Straight Talk. McCain." "Join John McCain" 160x600 Wide Skyscraper 144,000 Google
"Sick of wasteful spending? Take our survey." "Click Here" 234x60 Half Banner, 120x90 Button 875,000 TownHall.com, Investor related site
"It's time for straight talk on spending. McCain." "Support John McCain" 300x250 Medium Rectangle 131,000 Google
"The future starts April 25, 2007. McCain for President." "Learn More" 234x60 Half Banner 532,000 TownHall.com
"McCain" (Logo) "Support John McCain" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper, 468x60 Full Banner 1,076,000 Advertising.com
"It's time for straight talk on Iraq." "Support John McCain" 728x90 Leaderboard 409,000 Google
"One tough guy. One great leader." "Join John Mccain" 300x250 Medium Rectangle 46,000 Google
"McCain. Ready to Lead. McCain." "Join John Mccain" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper, 468x60 Full Banner 498,000 Advertising.com, Google
"Failure in Iraq is not an option." "Support John Mccain" 160x600 Wide Skyscraper 182,000 Google
"What are you doing this week? John McCain is running for President. McCain for President." "Learn More" 120x90 Button 99,000 Investor related site
$60.4 million tax dollars for salmon fisheries? Something smells fishy. Outraged by Pork?" "Take the survey" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 11,000 Investor related site
$74 million tax dollars for peanut storage costs? That's Nuts! $100 million tax dollars for citrus assistance? Orange You Outraged? $60.4 million tax dollars for salmon fisheries? Something smells fishy. Outraged by Pork?" "Take the survey" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 336x280 Large Rectangle 4,000 TheStreet.com, Investor related site
Source: Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance, 2007

Onetoughguy

Somethingsmellsfishy

*UPDATE:In November 2007, Nielsen Online AdRelevance, formerly Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance, provided ClickZ News with revised data on political advertisers for the months of April through September 2007. The revised information shows that in April, in addition to campaigns for Hillary Clinton and John McCain, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ran nearly 693,000 ad impressions on National Review Online and FoxNews.com that month.

The ads refer to Romney as "Governor," indicating they may have been geo-targeted to Massachusetts residents, or residents of New England states who are more likely to know Romney as a former governor, in an effort to build grassroots support in the early days of his primary campaign.

Information provided originally regarding Web ads run by Clinton's and McCain's campaigns was correct, according to AdRelevance.

April 2007 Ads by
Romney For President
Ad Copy Call to Action Ad Sizes Number of Impressions Web Sites
"Help Governor Romney Build a New American Dream. Strong. New. Leadership." Join Team Mitt 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 693,000 National Review, FoxNews.com
Source: Nielsen Online AdRelevance, 2007

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Kaye

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.

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