DNC and Obama Spent Half Million Online This Year

Democrats, along with Obama’s campaign operation, have already spent close to half a million dollars online this year in getting the 2012 reelection campaign off the ground.

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The Democratic National Committee has been the bigger spender thus far, dropping around $425,000 on digital. According to ClickZ Politics analysis of Federal Election Commission reports, around $301,000 went towards online advertising. The DNC and Obama for America online ad campaigns are being handled by Bully Pulpit Interactive; it is unclear whether a portion of the DNC money disbursed to the young digital ad agency in January – around $116,000 – was intended to pay for 2010 election related ads, or went towards the reelection campaign.

OFA gave Bully Pulpit $75,000 in late March to pay for online ads. Unlike most campaigns, ads and paid media efforts associated with the April 3 launch of President Obama’s reelection campaign came before television or other traditional ad buys. The launch included a YouTube video and Facebook ads, as well as display ads and large ad takeovers on left-leaning sites – all aimed at reenergizing Obama’s Democratic base.

Bully Pulpit was founded by Andrew Bleeker, former director of Internet advertising for the Obama ’08 campaign, and also counts Michael Organ, Obama’s first Internet ad director, as a partner. Bully Pulpit Managing Director Mark Skidmore was also a key member of Obama’s 2008 online ad team.

The DNC also spent thousands in March with Revolution Messaging, a Washington, D.C. firm that provides mobile messaging, social media marketing, and other services. The party paid Revolution around $34,000 last month. In addition, Blue State Digital – which handled much of Obama’s 2008 online campaign, received around $90,000 in March from the DNC. Most likely, the bulk of that went towards website operations, email marketing, and online organizing efforts employing the Organizing for America database managed by the DNC.

Together, the DNC and OFA paid $500,000 to Bully Pulpit, Revolution Messaging, and Blue State Digital between January and late March 2011.

ClickZ’s analysis of FEC reports showed Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign spent over $16 million on online ads in 2008, though campaign insiders say the campaign spent more, possibly closer to $20 million. Republican John McCain’s camp spent a fraction of that: around $3.6 million.

Democratic National Committee
Online Spending in 2011
Company Amount Paid
Blue State Digital $90,294
Bully Pulpit Interactive $301,036
Revolution Messaging $34,378
Total $425,708
Obama for America
Online Spending in 2011
Company Amount Paid
Bully Pulpit Interactive $75,000
Combined DNC and OFA Online Spending
Company Amount Paid
DNC $425,708
OFA $75,000
Total $500,708

Check out ClickZ’s 2008 campaign display ad galleries, and regularly-updated collection of 2012 campaign videos.

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