Obama Web Ads Name Romney for First Time

obama-romney4President Barack Obama recently referred to Mitt Romney by name for the first time. Now, his campaign’s web ads are doing the same. In what appears to be a first, Obama for America is using its online display and video advertising to directly attack Romney, the likely GOP nominee for president.

“President Obama would end big oil’s tax breaks. Romney won’t,” states a display ad recently spotted by ClickZ Politics. Clickable pre-roll video ads on YouTube reinforce the message. Both ads – including the video spot – encourage people to click to “Get the Facts,” on a “Big Oil” related page on the Obama site. The page features a TV ad suggesting the oil industry supports Romney, who will stand with them when it comes to tax breaks.

The majority of Obama’s reelection campaign ads online so far have not included issue-based messages; rather, they’ve centered on getting people to join his campaign and stand with him and his family for the middle class. “Help the Obamas stand up for working Americans,” has been a common refrain in the ads for months.

The introduction of online messaging via the ads and a handful of YouTube videos launched in the past week that directly mention Romney appears to be a cross-media effort by OFA. In a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors last week, Obama name-checked Romney for the first time. The coordinated messaging reflects the campaign’s strong approach to cross-media integration, most likely enabled through strategy discussions that include digital media staff and consultants.

The display ad was probably targeted behaviorally to people who have visited the Obama campaign site or based on other online interactions. Other information associated with the ad suggests it may have been targeted to people who look at energy and defense related content online.

The BarackObama.com/big-oil landing page features additional information contrasting Obama’s and Romney’s energy plans, and does not ask for money. Instead, the page only includes an email sign up form which leads to a donation page.