A look at Super Tuesday web ads and strategies from the GOP campaigns.
The Newt Gingrich campaign shifted its online advertising away from his homestate of Georgia yesterday to focus on Tennessee and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future bought around $190,000 in online ads recently, aimed at voters in Super Tuesday primary states including Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, North Dakota, Massachusetts, and Alaska. The group has spent millions online since January to slam Mitt Romney and help Gingrich.
On this important primary day, GOP presidential candidates and their Super PAC proxies are pointing web ads at voters reminding them who to vote for, and in some cases where to vote.
"We are running an aggressive online effort today including paid online ads in Tennessee and Oklahoma on Google and Facebook," said Vincent Harris, digital consultant for the Gingrich campaign. "We were running ads in Georgia but shifted resources as of yesterday into Tennessee and Oklahoma," he added. Gingrich has emphasized winning Georgia, which he represented in Congress and has the most delegates of any of today's primary states.
The former House Speaker's team also features a Super Tuesday tab on his Facebook page, which pushes a "Newt surging in super Tuesday states" message. Facebook users can click their state on a U.S. map to find polling places and download regional support buttons to post on their walls. Some images feature local sports teams such as one that cheers, "Georgia Bulldogs with Newt."
States voting today are Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.
"Newt surging into first place...Every vote counts," declare ads aimed at primary voters today. Ads targeting Oklahoma voters on Facebook use space usually reserved for an image to tout endorsements of Gingrich from JC Watts, Fred Thompson, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry. Watts is a former congressman from Oklahoma. "Today's election day in Oklahoma and polls show Newt surging. Help ensure he wins!" say the ads.
Mitt Romney's campaign and pro-Romney Super PAC Restore Our Future are also aiming get-out-the-vote ads online to residents of Super Tuesday states today. Restore Our Future, which has been attacking Gingrich and Rick Santorum in support of Romney, spent around $466,000 on web ads recently in Ohio, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Tennessee, as well as Mississippi and Alabama, which vote later this month.
Ads from Restore Our Future promote NewtFacts.com and RickFacts.com, both attack sites opposing Gingrich and Santorum, respectively. "Newt Is Not A Conservative. He's A Washingtonian Insider," states a Restore Our Future ad linking to NewtFacts. An ad for RickFacts promotes a "shocking video" purporting that Santorum increased the "US Debt Over $3 Trillion."
While the other Republican campaigns are using online advertising today specifically to drive voters to the polls, the Ron Paul camp is running persuasion ads in key primary states. Ads seen on Vermont and Tennessee news sites today call Santorum a "Fake" and link to a video of an anti-Santorum TV spot the campaign also ran before the Michigan and Arizona primaries in February.
However, Paul is asking supporters on Facebook to vote for him and to make phone calls to remind others to do the same.
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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.
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