U.K. Conservatives Buy YouTube Homepage Ad for Election Day

ClickZ News - Politics & AdvocacyThe U.K. Conservative party will take over the video ad unit on YouTube’s U.K. homepage exclusively tomorrow, the party has confirmed. The ad will run from midnight tonight until tomorrow’s parliamentary election polling closes at 10 pm BST tomorrow, and feature content from the party’s final election broadcast. In keeping with the party’s tagline, it will also prompt people to vote for “change.”

In the U.K. political party candidates or ads cannot appear on broadcast media on election day itself, making ad buys on YouTube one of the most effective channels through which to replicate the scale and reach – and emotive qualities – of television or radio appearances.

Conservative Youtube Ad

According to a party spokesperson, the YouTube spot is intended to help it maximize its share of voice tomorrow, and also inhibit its rivals from making prominent use of the channel. “Our YouTube homepage ad on polling day lets us take our message of change to millions of people – ensuring we’ll be the only party reaching a mass audience online,” the spokesperson said.

According to data from comScore, U.K. users streamed an average of 88 million videos per day via Google-owned properties in February, the vast majority of which were from YouTube. Though that figure doesn’t indicate how many people access the site through the homepage, it does demonstrate the scale and reach the site can potentially offer.

Elsewhere in the online video space, the Conservatives have also been running pre-roll video ads against content on ITV.com, specifically alongside the popular “Britain’s Got Talent” reality TV show. The spots feature messaging focused on the party’s stance on national insurance payments. Ads have also been featured on popular dating site Match.com.

According to the spokesperson, social media and e-mail will also play a large part in its campaigning throughout the day. “Peer-to-peer activity on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and mobile will help to mobilize our activists,” the spokesperson said, referring to the party’s use of social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. An e-mail campaign is also set to launch imminently, urging supporters to suggest voting Conservative to friends, family, and colleagues.

As well as a focus on emerging media, the party says it fully recognizes the importance of the search space on polling day, as users turn to Google to locate their nearest polling stations and read up on parties’ policies before heading to the booths. To capitalize on that opportunity it will ramp up its paid search efforts around issues such as voting logistics, key candidates, and last-minute issues.

Polling stations will open across the U.K. tomorrow morning, closing at 10 pm local time. Votes are counted immediately, and a preliminary result can be expected early Friday morning.

Follow Jack Marshall on Twitter at @JackMarshall.

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