Sparring over federal spending has fueled some debate between the Obama and Romney campaigns lately, and the President's camp is using digital ads to help reposition the discussion.
"Mitt Romney claims President Obama has gone on a 'spending binge.' False. Federal spending growth is lower under President Obama," state display ads seen on liberal political site Daily Kos. The ads include a graph that shows spending growth at the federal level has slowed under Barack Obama's administration, compared to previous administrations including those of Republicans Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.
The ads link to a page that calls Romney's claims of a spending binge "nothing but a myth...Federal spending growth has actually been slower under President Obama than under any other president since Dwight Eisenhower."
The data displayed in the ad and referred to on the landing page is in dispute according to various sources featured in a Washington Post article.
The Daily Kos ads appear to have been targeted nationally and purchased directly from the site, according to code associated with the ads. Many Obama for America 2012 online ads have been retargeted to people who have visited the official campaign site, and purchased through ad networks or exchanges. The apparent direct buy with Daily Kos implies OFA wants to reach its liberal base with the message.
The campaign also wants them to spread the word. The ad encourages people to "share the chart" and features Twitter and Facebook buttons to enable that. Although the bottom of the ad's landing page features a signup form, this is one ad message intended mainly to help solidify the President's base and provide them with ammunition in social media circles for proving Obama deserves a second term.
Though issue-based persuasion is something we can expect to see more of in online ads from both Romney and Obama, many OFA ads still are geared toward building a supporter list to help in fundraising and volunteer efforts. In preparation for Father's Day on Sunday, recent ads from the campaign feature the President and his family in younger days, and ask supporters to sign a Father's Day card for Obama - a tactic used to gather email addresses and other contact information.
A new official Pinterest account for First Lady Michelle Obama also pushes the card signup on a Father's Day pinboard displaying Obama family photos.
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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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