Web Ads May Have Aided Obama's High January Fundraising

  |  February 21, 2008   |  Comments

Barack Obama's campaign placed more than 70 million display ads online in January, the majority of which drove supporters to help elect the candidate.

ClickZ_Campaign08_katefinal.jpgWeb advertising may have contributed to Barack Obama's record month of online-powered fundraising in January. The candidate's campaign placed more than 70 million display ads online last month, up from about 10 million ad impressions in December. The majority of the January ads drove supporters to visit the Senator's official site to "Help Elect Barack Obama President of the United States."

Obama's hefty display ad run topped the number of ad impressions from all the presidential campaigns in October and November -- 65 million each month, as tracked by Nielsen Online AdRelevance.

Last year's most prolific display advertiser, Romney for President, also pushed fundraising goals in some of the 40 million ads placed by the campaign in January. However, like rival Republican John McCain, Romney's campaign also stressed issues in many online display ads. While Romney focused on family values, traditional marriage and immigration in his issue-based ads, McCain's camp stuck with familiar themes such as pork-barrel spending, courage and conservatism.

John McCain 2008 ran less than half the number of online ad impressions in January that Romney's campaign did, around 19 million. Still, the majority of McCain's ads were video-enabled, and may have cost more than standard animated ads. Romney's camp ran around one million expandable video-enabled ads which compared the former Massachusetts Governor's pro-life and pro-traditional marriage stances with those of Republican Mike Huckabee. Romney has since ducked out of the primary race; Huckabee remains in it.

By using issue-based messaging and video in their ads, the McCain and Romney camps most likely intended to persuade voters rather than simply drive traffic to their sites for donations or list-building purposes.

Democratic contender Bill Richardson also continued his short display ad run into January; the candidate ended his presidential bid early in that month. His campaign kept with issue-based ad messaging as seen in a small number of ads promoting Richardson's behavioral healthcare plan for military veterans.

As in all of 2007, Yahoo grabbed the majority of ad impressions from the candidates in January, although all four campaigns also bought ads on local newspaper or TV sites. Richardson's camp continued its focus on Iowa by placing ads on DesMoinesRegister.com. Romney's ads showed up on local news sites in San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Raleigh/Durham and Tampa. McCain's camp also ran ads on Florida sites in addition to sites based in Detroit, Boston and South Carolina.

Meanwhile, though Obama's ads appeared mainly on Yahoo, MSNBC and MSN, his campaign also ran ads on NJ.com to promote a particular event in Jersey City. "Come Join the Jersey City Democratic Committee in Meeting Our Next President Senator Barack Obama," read the ad, which pictured Obama alongside the mayors of Jersey City and Newark.

McCain also featured geographically-relevant copy in ads touting his endorsement by The Detroit News.

January 2008 Ads by
John McCain 2008
Ad Copy Call to Action Ad Sizes Number of Impressions
"McCain. Watch the Latest Video." "Play Video" & "Join the Team Today" 728x90 Leaderboard, 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper 17,949,000
"The Detroit News Endorses John McCain" "Click Here to Learn More" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 471,000
"McCain. A Clear Record of Conservatism." "Play Video" & "Join the Team Today" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper, 728x90 Leaderboard 280,000
"What does Mike Huckabee have to say about John McCain? Watch the latest video" "Play Video" & "Join the Team Today" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper, 728x90 Leaderboard 152,000
"One man has the experience One man has the courage One man has our trust John McCain for President." "Join Our Team" 728x90 Leaderboard, 120x600 Skyscraper 55,000
"President doesn't need foreign policy experience?" "Play Video" & "Join the Team Today" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 34,000
"McCain" [play video] 300x250 Medium Rectangle 16,000
"Three million of your tax dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana. I don't know if that's a paternity issue or a criminal issue." "Stop Pork Barrel Spending. Sign the Petition." 728x90 Leaderboard 13,000
"Governor Charlie Crist Endorses John McCain." "Click here to learn more" 160x600 Wide Skyscraper, 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard 33,000
"Is This The Future You Want? Make Sure It Doesn't Happen!" "Click Here" 728x90 Leaderboard 7,000
"Courageous Service Experienced Leadership Bold Solutions, Watch Courageous Service Video" "Play Video" & "Learn More" 728x90 Leaderboard 3,000
"Straight and True No Matter What. McCain" "Support John McCain" 300x250 Medium Rectangle 3,000
"Pro Growth. Low Taxes. Fiscal Discipline. McCain. Straight Talk from John McCain." "Click Here to Learn More" 300x250 Medium Rectangle 1,000
Source: Nielsen Online, AdRelevance, 2008

January 2008 Ads by
Obama for America
Ad Copy Call to Action Ad Sizes Number of Impressions
"Help Elect Barack Obama President of the United States. Visit the official campaign website" "Join Us" 728x90 Leaderboard, 180x150 Rectangle, 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 468x60 Full Banner 50,853,000
"Barack Obama for President. Visit the Official Campaign Website." "Join Us" 728x90 Leaderboard, 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 468x60 Full Banner, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper 7,041,000
"Change we can believe in. Help Elect Barack Obama President of the United States. Visit the official campaign website." "Join Us" 728x90 Leaderboard, 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 180x150 Rectangle, 468x60 Full Banner 4,709,000
"Obama '08. Visit the official campaign website." "Join Us" 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 468x60 Full Banner 2,494,000
n/a "Join Us" 180x150 Rectangle 463,000
"Get to Know Barack Obama. Sign Up for Invitations to Campaign Events" "Join Us" 728x90 Leaderboard 253,000
"Join the Movement" "Get Involved" 728x90 Leaderboard 116,000
"Meet Barack Obama. Sign Up for Invitations to Campaign Events" "Join Us" 120x600 Skyscraper 107,000
"Visit the Official Obama '08 Campaign Website" "Join Us" 120x60 Button 61,000
"Obama for President" "Join Us" 120x60 Button 67,000
"Obama for President. Visit the Official Website." "Join Us" 180x150 Rectangle 35,000
"Attend Local Campaign Events. Show your Support." "Join Us" 300x250 Medium Rectangle 39,000
"Meet Barack Obama. Attend a Campaign Event Near You" "Join Us" 160x600 Wide Skyscraper 25,000
"Sign Up for Invitations to Campaign Events" "Join Us" 160x600 Wide Skyscraper 11,000
"Come Join the Jersey City Democratic Committee in Meeting Our Next President Senator Barack Obama Wed., January 9, 2008 Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Saint Peter's College...." "Join Us" non-standard dimension 4,000
Source: Nielsen Online, AdRelevance, 2008

January 2008 Ads by
Bill Richardson for President
Ad Copy Call to Action Ad Sizes Number of Impressions
"Bill Richardson President. A Heroes Health Card for veterans, ensuring them the quality care they deserve. Quality health care for PTSD and other mental trauma. Access to affordable behavioral health care for all Americans." "Read Bill Richardson's plan for behavioral health care at www.richardson forpresident.com." 728x90 Leaderboard 2,000
Source: Nielsen Online, AdRelevance, 2008

January 2008 Ads by
Romney For President
Ad Copy Call to Action Ad Sizes Number of Impressions
"Mitt Romney for President. The Leader America Needs. You Can Make The Difference. Volunteer Today. Experience. Vision. Values." "Join Team Mitt." 300x250 Medium Rectangle, 728x90 Leaderboard, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper, 120x600 Skyscraper, 468x60 Full Banner 18,686,000
"There's no work more important than what goes on within the four walls of the American home. Experience. Vision. Values. Strong America. Strong Families." "Join Team Mitt." 300x250 Medium Rectangle 6,635,000
"Tune in to Victory. Help Put Mitt Over the Top. $1,000,000 Media Victory Fund. Be Part of Mitt's TV Campaign." "Contribute. Experience. Vision. Values." 728x90 Leaderboard, 160x600 Wide Skyscraper 6,889,000
"Mitt Romney. Experience. Vision. Values." "Join Team Mitt" 728x90 Leaderboard 3,309,000
"We Will Secure Our Borders. We Will Enforce Immigration Laws Without Amnesty. We Will End Illegal Immigration. Experience. Vision. Values." "Join Team Mitt" 728x90 Leaderboard, 468x60 Full Banner 1,947,000
"Mitt Romney has a clear vision of change for America. He did it in business, the Olympics, and in Massachusetts and He can do it in Washington." "Join Team Mitt. Experience. Vision. Values." 728x90 Leaderboard, 468x60 Full Banner 1,664,000
"2008 Mitt Romney Strong. New. Leadership. Mitt Romney Mike Huckabee Both Pro-Life Both support traditional marriage. Roll over to learn more & get involved." Video 1, Video 2 Expandable 728x90 Leaderboard, Expandable 160x600 Wide Skyscraper, Expandable 300x250 Medium Rectangle 927,000
"Mitt Romney True Strength for America's Future. MittRomney.com" n/a 728x90 Leaderboard 1,000
Source: Nielsen Online, AdRelevance, 2008

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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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