Local executions contrast sharply with those of the Clinton campaign.
Senator Barack Obama's campaign has demonstrated a willingness to use local online advertising to reach voters in particular primary states. Now, with the important Pennsylvania primary around the corner, Obama for America is kicking it up a notch with new issue-based ads targeted to news sites in the state. Purely focused on persuasion, the ads mark a first for the Obama campaign when it comes to Web advertising, and stand in stark contrast to fundraising ads placed by the Clinton campaign.
"Which presidential candidate refuses money from oil company PACs and their Washington lobbyists?" inquires a display ad seen on Pennsylvania sites including Trib Total Media's PittsburghLive.com and Philly.com, owned by Philadelphia Media Holdings. The ads also launched yesterday on Pennsylvania TV station sites in WorldNow's Local Media Network.
The campaign hopes to reach voters feeling the pinch of high gas prices. Think lower and middle income people, blue collar workers, and older demographics prone to visiting hometown newspaper and TV station sites.
In the ad, Obama, Clinton and Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain are pictured alongside a list of high gas station prices; a fuel pump whizzes across the ad following the user's mouse movements.
"It's another example of how this [campaign] has been very aggressive in the types of ads it's running," suggested WorldNow Chief Revenue Officer Adam Gordon.
Scrolling over each candidate's image reveals different messages. Clinton and McCain are characterized as oil cash recipients, while Obama comes off as a clean candidate promoting clean energy.
"Hillary Clinton has taken more money from PACs and Washington lobbyists, including those for oil and gas, than anyone in the race. She voted for oil tax giveaways and against increasing alternative fuels," reads the ad. McCain is also panned for accepting contributions from oil industry PACs and lobbyists.
Obama is the right answer, according to the ad, which says, "Senator Obama is a leader in fighting for higher fuel efficiency standards, alternative fuels, and for the repeal of tax breaks for oil companies."
The ad links to a page on Obama's site focused on energy and the environment. Along with videos on energy-related topics, information on his record, and goals for legislation on renewable fuel and CAFE standards, the page features links to donate, sign up to volunteer, and click to visit the Pennsylvania for Obama page.
Until now, the Obama camp has steered away from persuasion-based messages in Web display ads, focusing instead on capturing supporters' contact information in a wide variety of display ads placed mainly through ad networks.
Even the campaign's locally-targeted ads have included specific calls to action, encouraging users to vote early, find polling places or register to vote. For instance, one ad targeted to Pennsylvania Web users in March urged them to update their voter registration to ensure they are eligible to vote in the Keystone State's Democratic primary.
However, expandable multimedia ads seen on Texas and Ohio news site homepages before the primaries in those states served a dual purpose. Embedded video from TV spots was used to persuade voters to vote for Obama based on issues like the War in Iraq and ethics reform. But the ads also prompted voters to find early voting locations in Texas and Ohio.
According to Gordon, the Pennsylvania Web media buy is smaller in scale in terms of ad impressions, inventory and overall footprint than what the campaign bought through WorldNow on Texas and Ohio sites. The Obama campaign also ran pre-roll video ads on Pennsylvania news sites through the network recently. "It's nice to see a candidate carve out specific money for TV station sites," he said.
Many of John McCain's display ads, particularly those featuring embedded videos, have been intended both to persuade voters and to get them to provide contact information such as an e-mail address. Before Obama's new energy-oriented ads, McCain's campaign had been the only campaign to consistently employ messaging based on issues throughout the primary season, including Iraq and pork-barrel spending.
Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, has been risk-averse in its limited use of online display advertising. Ads for the New York Senator seen last month were strictly aimed at scoring online donations, urging site visitors to "Help Make History" by contributing $50 to the campaign.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Sept 5 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!
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.
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.
September 17, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT