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In Online Videos, Voters See More Election News Than Ads, Survey Finds

BY Nick Judd | Friday, November 2 2012

When it comes to online video this election season, the power of a friend's recommendation is far outstripping the power of the campaign dollar, a Pew Internet & American Life survey finds. According to Pew data released today, American voters are more likely to be recommended a video from a friend or to watch a video with election news than to encounter a video political ad — even as campaigns post many of their ad spots to their YouTube channels. Read More

Obama Campaign Buys Top Ad Spot On Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Website

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, October 25 2012

The Obama campaign has bought a front large front-page ad on the website of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today to advertise early voting, as Jonathan Weisman noted on Twitter. Read More

In New Ad, Obama Campaign Uses iPads to Spread the Damage from Romney's "47 Percent" Comments

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, September 18 2012

In the latest ad from the Obama campaign — its first response to leaked footage in which Mitt Romney addresses donors and makes David Corn at Mother Jones the happiest man alive — "ordinary Americans" watch Romney's comments on an iPad, then offer their opinions on the man who would be president.

The Obama campaign has used this man-on-the-street style in previous videos, but this is the first one to feature the iPad as a technological twist.

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From Romney and Obama Campaigns, Duelling Ads on the Tampa Bay Times Website

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, August 28 2012

As the Republican National Convention is now officially going forward in Tampa, both sides are making an effort to reach out to online readers of the local media outlets through ads — in some cases at the same time. The screenshot above of the Tampa Bay Times, also viewable to readers outside the Florida area, features a large, expandable, animated Obama ad at the top. In that ad, Romney's "qualifications" are checked off: "My tax returns: hidden. My companies: outsourced jobs. My state: 47th in job creation."

And on the bottom of the screen is an ad from the Republican National Committee hailing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as "America's Comeback Team" and promoting the hashtag #GOP2012.

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Online Ad Targeting is Going Local

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, June 18 2012

An outside group backing a Democratic candidate for Congress in New York is using highly targeted web ads to reach potential voters. With lots of talk about targeting at the presidential level, it's worth noting as smaller campaigns adopt the same practice.

A group affiliated with Emily's List called "Women Vote!" has so far dropped $38,000 in online advertising to support Grace Meng, a candidate for the Democratic nod to replace Rep. Gary Ackerman in New York's 6th District, City and State reported last week.

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Is the Internet Running Out of Political Ad Space?

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 29 2012

Highly targeted ads may be in shorter supply than one might think. Photo: Shutterstock

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Online politics consultants say that as a growing number of campaigns are buying television ads in advance, looking to get ahead of what is expected to be fierce competition for ad inventory closer to the general elections, something similar is happening online.

That consultants are doing the same with some types of online ads may seem counterintuitive at first, given that online advertising inventory is plentiful. But it seems that the online advertising inventory campaigns want most — targeted preroll ads on YouTube, geotargeted display advertising on news sites and other major traffic hubs, and even ads placed against some Google search terms — is in short enough supply to drive at least some advance purchases as well. This is a fact of life that online politics consultants say the fastest-moving organizations are just now learning, driven from experience gained the hard way during the primary campaign in this election cycle.

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Romney Campaign Targets Obama's Barnard Commencement Speech With Google Ads

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, May 14 2012


New York City area web users looking for details about Barnard College's Commencement Ceremony, where President Barack Obama gave the Commencement Address earlier this afternoon, are also likely to have encountered a targeted ad calling out "Obama's Wasteful Spending" on Mitt Romney's website, as Emily Schultheis from Politico first reported. While she suggested it was targeted at only the zip code where the college is located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, it also showed up on a search for a zip code located in Queens, while accessing the Internet from Lower Manhattan. But it did not show up for an Internet user located outside the New York area. Read More

What You Missed: How Ad Targeting is Changing Democracy

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 3 2012

On Thursday's Personal Democracy Plus Call, Joseph Turow, author of The Daily You, warned that most Americans are significantly unaware of the ways that marketing companies collect information about them, particularly online, and are unable to control how that data is being used or have an informed discussion how about such data collection is influencing their media and Internet experience. Turow has written extensively about how the advertising business has evolved to be significantly shaped by agency conglomerates, at the same time as the media landscape has grown from network television and radio to cable television and the web. A full archive of the call will be available soon for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers from this page. Read More

Spotted: Scott Brown Ads on YouTube

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 29 2012

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has begun advertising his campaign online beyond Massachusetts using the Google ad network, including on YouTube. Read More

Engine Still Running Anti-SOPA Google Ads

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 19 2012

TechPresident spotted an anti-SOPA Google ad today on Daily Kos, next to Markos Moulitsas' takedown of Democrats who refuse to back away from the Stop Online Piracy Act. The ad comes from Engine, an advocacy outfit put together late last year to advocate on behalf of Internet industry. A great many lawmakers washed their hands of the controversial anti-piracy bill and its companion Senate legislation yesterday — and nearly all of them were Republicans. Moulitsas is not pleased. Read More