Democrats, along with Obama's campaign operation, have already spent close to half a million dollars online this year in getting the 2012 reelection campaign off the ground.
The Democratic National Committee has been the bigger spender thus far, dropping around $425,000 on digital. According to ClickZ Politics analysis of Federal Election Commission reports, around $301,000 went towards online advertising. The DNC and Obama for America online ad campaigns are being handled by Bully Pulpit Interactive; it is unclear whether a portion of the DNC money disbursed to the young digital ad agency in January - around $116,000 - was intended to pay for 2010 election related ads, or went towards the reelection campaign.
OFA gave Bully Pulpit $75,000 in late March to pay for online ads. Unlike most campaigns, ads and paid media efforts associated with the April 3 launch of President Obama's reelection campaign came before television or other traditional ad buys. The launch included a YouTube video and Facebook ads, as well as display ads and large ad takeovers on left-leaning sites - all aimed at reenergizing Obama's Democratic base.
Bully Pulpit was founded by Andrew Bleeker, former director of Internet advertising for the Obama '08 campaign, and also counts Michael Organ, Obama's first Internet ad director, as a partner. Bully Pulpit Managing Director Mark Skidmore was also a key member of Obama's 2008 online ad team.
The DNC also spent thousands in March with Revolution Messaging, a Washington, D.C. firm that provides mobile messaging, social media marketing, and other services. The party paid Revolution around $34,000 last month. In addition, Blue State Digital - which handled much of Obama's 2008 online campaign, received around $90,000 in March from the DNC. Most likely, the bulk of that went towards website operations, email marketing, and online organizing efforts employing the Organizing for America database managed by the DNC.
Together, the DNC and OFA paid $500,000 to Bully Pulpit, Revolution Messaging, and Blue State Digital between January and late March 2011.
ClickZ's analysis of FEC reports showed Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign spent over $16 million on online ads in 2008, though campaign insiders say the campaign spent more, possibly closer to $20 million. Republican John McCain's camp spent a fraction of that: around $3.6 million.
|Democratic National Committee|
Online Spending in 2011
|Blue State Digital||$90,294|
|Bully Pulpit Interactive||$301,036|
|Obama for America|
Online Spending in 2011
|Bully Pulpit Interactive||$75,000|
|Combined DNC and OFA Online Spending|
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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.
March 19, 2014