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Obama and DNC Spent Over $1 Million on 2012 Web Ads

  |  July 18, 2011   |  Comments

Indicates commitment to digital media for fundraising and volunteer organizing.

Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee have spent over $1 million on online ads this year in support of the President's 2012 reelection campaign. The number is unprecedented and indicates a strong commitment to spending on digital media to fuel President Barack Obama's fundraising and volunteer organizing efforts.

Since March, OFA and the DNC paid $1.04 million to Bully Pulpit Interactive, the firm handling 2012 online advertising for both groups, according to ClickZ's analysis of Federal Election Commission reports.

In May alone, OFA gave Bully Pulpit $700,000 for digital ads. The President's campaign arm paid the company $850,000 since March. The DNC paid Bully Pulpit more than $193,000 since March. President Obama launched his reelection campaign in early April with a huge online ad splash aimed at reenergizing his supporters.

This year, the two organizations spent more than $1.2 million with Bully Pulpit, though January expenditures to the DNC of around $170,000 may have paid for 2010 election advertising online.

The online ad expenditures are especially significant because OFA does not appear to have spent on television advertising yet. Indeed, media spending appears to be at a minimum outside of the online ad buys. While the campaign appears to have spent on traditional fundraising methods such as telemarketing and direct mail, other advertising expenditures do not seem to be part of the plan so far.

The campaign does label around $600,000 in spending with a company called Financial Innovations as "print advertising;" however, the company appears to handle merchandise for Democratic campaigns. It's possible the money actually went toward things like Obama 2012 bumper stickers awarded to donors rather than to ad buys in print publications.

OFA spent $47,000 with Blue State Digital in June. That money, along with the $416,000 paid to Blue State by the DNC this year, is most likely fueling website operations, email marketing, and online organizing efforts.

As for mobile spending, OFA paid $28,000 to mobile marketing firm Mobile Commons in May for text messaging. The DNC spent $46,000 with mobile messaging and social media marketing firm Revolution Messaging in February and March, but no additional payments to the company have been reported since.

Democratic National Committee
Online Spending in 2011
CompanyAmount Paid
Blue State Digital $416,211
Bully Pulpit Interactive $362,900
Revolution Messaging $46,010
Total $825,121
Obama for America
Online Spending in 2011
CompanyAmount Paid
Bully Pulpit Interactive $850,000
Blue State Digital $47,000
Mobile Commons $28,000
Total $925,000
Combined DNC and OFA Online Spending
CompanyAmount Paid
DNC $825,122
OFA $925,000
Total $1,750,122

Check out ClickZ's regularly-updated collection of 2012 campaign videos.

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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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