The Democratic Party, MoveOn - and even progressive cause-based telecom service provider Credo - have made Senate hopeful and consumer protection crusader Elizabeth Warren an online poster child. Democrats and liberals inside and outside Massachusetts are seeing the face of Warren grace Facebook ads for groups hoping to harness the momentum behind the candidate, who is looking to unseat Republican incumbent Scott Brown in that state.
Like Brown during his much-watched run in the 2010 special election for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, Warren's candidacy has garnered national status. So, it may come as no surprise that organizations like the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a natural supporter, as well as Credo Action, are glomming on to Warren's charm in their online ads.
Both organizations feature Warren in Facebook ads currently running and appear to be targeting supporters of left-leaning groups and causes. Even before her run for office, Warren became a symbol for people supporting increased government oversight of financial institutions. She was instrumental in the establishment of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, founded earlier this year to help guard Americans from predatory lending and other shady financial business practices.
The DSCC ads launched a couple weeks ago, according to Shripal Shah, DSCC press secretary. A goal is to combat ads from Crossroads GPS, a group associated with Republican strategist Karl Rove that launched around the same time.
"Don't let Karl Rove's group smear Elizabeth Warren," state the Facebook ads. "Join the DSCC and demand a stop to their false attack ads." The ads should run for a few more weeks, said Shah. They link to a petition with a related message on the DSCC site.
Meanwhile, Credo, a telecom firm that supports liberal causes, is also hoping to bask in Warren's warm glow. The firm's advocacy arm is running Facebook ads encouraging people to "Sign our thank-you note to Elizabeth Warren. Thank her for standing up for progressive values, and for showing Democrats how to fight!"
MoveOn has also featured Warren in email messages linking to petitions and donation pages, as well as in Facebook posts such as a post praising her for suggesting that successful entrepreneurs "take a hunk of [their profits] and pay forward for the next kid who comes along." In its November 27 Facebook post about the statement, MoveOn wrote, "Hands down, this is one of our most widely shared pieces of the year. If it's new to you, keep it going!"
Why Warren? For one, the DSCC, Credo, and MoveOn all want to build up their supporter - or potential customer - bases. And the fact that she is a national, almost iconic figure only helps in generating a strong response from progressives and Democrats across the country.
The Warren ad theme also represents a somewhat rare occurrence in politics in which outside groups see value in running positive messages in support of a candidate, rather than going negative.
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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.
December 12, 2013
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