As the dwindling field of Republican presidential hopefuls aims to win over former Herman Cain supporters, Rick Perry wants to wrangle them on Facebook. Until now, Perry's campaign has done little online advertising. But ads and messaging seen today on Facebook suggest his campaign sees value in locating Cain supporters there in the hopes of winning them over to his flock.
Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich - another candidate whose campaign has shown little interest in online advertising thus far - is trying to capture Cain backers and others on Google. Ads in Google search results that link to the "Meet Newt" page on his campaign site read, "Cain is Out Support Newt."
The Perry ads on Facebook speak directly to Cain fans, too. "Cain Supporters: Texas Governor Rick Perry is the only Washington outsider left in the Presidential race. Click to learn more." However, while the Gingrich ads link to a generic page, Perry's ads link to RickPerry.org/Cain, and portray Perry as a "Washington Outsider," just like Cain.
"Herman Cain's appeal was that of a Washington Outsider - someone not beholden to the entrenched Beltway interests, and who hasn’t spent his life cutting deals at the expense of conservative principles. As the race goes forward, with the Iowa Caucuses 32 days away, I am truly the only Washington Outsider left in the race," notes the Perry site.
A post to Perry's Facebook account displays an image featuring Cain and Perry, and also plays on the Texas Governor's arguable outsider status. "Cain supporters: Join Team Perry," it declares. Perry is also using Facebook ads to drive people to his new faith-centric TV spot on YouTube.
The Perry camp has been employing the anti-Washington "outsider" rhetoric for a month or so, around the same time that Gingrich - a man with extensive experience in Washington as former speaker of the house - began his surge in the polls. It remains to be seen whether Perry, himself a career politician who has held statewide offices in Texas for over two decades, can convince primary voters that he and Cain are truly alike as outsiders.
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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
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT