Florida Candidate Aims Mobile Ads at Voters in Line at Polls

Mobile advertising is often a direct-response marketing tool, something focused on a call-to-action, but for one Florida Attorney General candidate, it’s all about persuasion. Today, as Democrats queue up to vote in their party’s primary – quite possibly with mobile devices in pocket – Dan Gelber’s campaign aims to reach them there. The AG hopeful is running Google mobile ads targeted to Floridians in the hopes of convincing them to vote for Gelber if they search for more information about the candidate while en route to the polls or waiting in line.

 

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“The point is, it’s really just the last ad people will see when they’re getting ready to vote…. It’s the last way some voters will look for info,” said Josh Koster, managing partner for Washington, DC-based Chong + Koster, a digital consulting firm working with the Gelber campaign.

 

While people often have done their research on candidates for more prominent offices – Florida chooses party nominees for Governor and U.S. Senate today – they may be fuzzier on others listed further down the ballot.

“In a down-ballot race, name ID is critical,” said Christian Ulvert, campaign manager for Dan Gelber for Attorney General. “We want to be able to communicate with people standing in lines…. Anything we can do to target voters especially on site the day of is very important,” he added.

The Gelber campaign has one message to get across to voters searching for information about the candidate and his opponents: He’s been endorsed by several major Florida newspapers.

“Gelber Gets Endorsements,” reads a mobile ad running today. “Every Major FL Newspaper Endorses Dan Gelber for AG. Learn more,” it continues. The St Petersburg Times, Miami Herald, and South Florida Sun Sentinel are among papers that have given Gelber the nod.

“It’s pure persuasion at this point,” said Koster. Indeed, though the ads link to the Gelber campaign site, the campaign isn’t necessarily concerned with people clicking on them. Rather, the goal is to convince them to vote for Gelber after reading the brief ad copy itself. “These are very, very highly valuable persuasion impressions…Very few times do you have a persuasion message that can be boiled down to one [short ad message],” said Koster, calling the Gelber situation “a somewhat unique case.”

Koster said his experience running mobile ads on election days in 2009 gave him “a sense of the floor” in terms of the amount of ad impressions the mobile searches might generate. However, he said the Gelber campaign isn’t sure what to expect otherwise. “It’s totally up in the air,” he said. While Koster said he doesn’t anticipate using the last-minute mobile ad tactic for all future candidate clients, he said his firm did use it for all 2009 campaigns it assisted.

According to a Google spokesperson, Lisa Small, a non-partisan candidate for Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge in Florida, is also running online and mobile ads geo-targeted to the Palm Beach County area district she’s looking to serve.

The Gelber campaign has also been running Google text ads and Facebook ads.

 

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