Best Practices for
Political Advertising Online




   T h e G r a d u at e S c h o o l o f P o l i t i c a l M a n a g e ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




   The Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet
thanks its sp...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




           Acknowledgements
    “Best Practices for Political Adverti...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET
                              INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INT...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




PAGE VI       BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
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INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




                        Executive Summary

    This publication looks...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET


            and create an ad online, there is no substi-            •	 ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET



       vertising that inspires prospective donors
       and voters to...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




PAGE 4       BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
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                                       Introduction
                 ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET


    for the next few election cycles. Corporations and big
    business...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




                         SECTION 1



meeting Political Objectives in...
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PAGE 8       BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
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                                                     chapter 1



Key...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET



             online and that 79 percent of adults – about             ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET



    First, the Internet is not a replacement to traditional      Publi...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




              7. Conduct media planning and creative de-             ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




                                                    chapter 2



    ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET



               research the competition, send messages to             ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET



    •	 People	who	are	online	indicate	a	strong	in-                    ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET




          Consultants Still hesitate to use the Internet
            ...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET


    •	 The	 demographic	 profile	 of	 U.S.	 Internet	                 i...
INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET



                                                                      ...
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
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Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
Best Practices For Political Advertising Online
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A study of paid political online advertising, from search engine marketing to display advertising, designed to help political organizations understand online advertising and better leverage their resources to reach voters online

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Best Practices For Political Advertising Online

  1. 1. Best Practices for Political Advertising Online T h e G r a d u at e S c h o o l o f P o l i t i c a l M a n a g e m e n t
  2. 2. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET The Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet thanks its sponsors, without whose support this publication would not have been possible. AND THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT PARTICIPATED IN THE RESE ARCH BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
  3. 3. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
  4. 4. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET Acknowledgements “Best Practices for Political Advertising Online” is a white paper produced by the cam- paigning and electioneering program at George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. Julie Barko Germany, director of IPDI, is the principal editor of this publication. Tony Winders (ValueClick Media) assisted with the development and production of this publica- tion. We thank all of our authors. Michael A. Bassik (MSHC Partners), Eric Frenchman (Con- nell Donatelli Inc.) Jay Friedman (Goodway 2.0), Josh Gray (ValueClick Media), Karen Jagoda (E-Voter Institute), Rena Shapiro (Google), and Tony Winders (Value Click Media) wrote, re- searched and created the chapters in this publication. Jane Day, (Ron Day Productions) as- sisted in preparing Chapter 3. G. Scott Piotroski (General Manager, ValueClick Media’s lead generation unit), helped contribute to the drafting of Chapter 6. Mindy Finn (Mitt Romney for President), Richard Kosinski (Yahoo!), Phil Noble (PoliticsOnline), Rob Shepardson (SS+K) and Evan Tracey (Campaign Media Analysis Group) participated in interviews for this publi- cation. Additional thanks to Chuck DeFeo (Townhall.com), Becki Donatelli (Campaign Solu- tions), Ryan J. Waite (Connell Donatelli Inc.) and Ben Weisberg (Google) for their ideas and support. We especially thank the organizations who underwrote the costs associated with this pub- lication: ValueClick Media and Google. This project would not have been possible without the advice and assistance of many indi- viduals at The George Washington University, including F. Christopher Arterton (Dean, Grad- uate School of Political Management), Justin Beckley (Research Assistant, IPDI), Chris Brooks (Financial Manager, IPDI), Charles Ellison (Fellow, IPDI), Alex Kellner (Research Assistant, IPDI), Sam Levenback (Conference Manager, IPDI), Max McGowen (Intern, IPDI) and Chris Wimbush (Research Assistant, IPDI). IPDI’s mission is to promote the use of the Internet and new communication technologies in politics to enhance republican values, encourage citizen participation and improve gover- nance, at home and abroad; in short, to “democratize democracy.” IPDI conducts research that anticipates and interprets trends, publishes studies and guidelines that show candidates, public officials and activists how to make the best use of the new communication tools and holds seminars and conferences that advocate the best practices, teach new skills and allow for the national and international exchange of ideas on the politically leveling uses of the Internet and other new technologies. IPDI is located at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Man- agement. F. Christopher Arterton is the dean of the school. For more information about the Graduate School of Political Management, visit www.gwu.edu/~gspm. For more information about the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet, visit www.ipdi.org. © GW’s Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet. The editor is Julie Barko Germany. The date of publication is March 4, 2008. BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
  5. 5. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
  6. 6. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET Table of Contents ExECuTIVE SummARy ..................................................................................................................... 1 INTRODuCTION ............................................................................................................................... 5 JULIE BARkO GERMANY (GW’S INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET) Section I - Meeting Political Objectives in a New Media Environment ChAPTER 1 - KEy EmERGING TRENDS IN POLITICAL AND ADVOCACy COmmuNICATIONS............. 9 MICHAEL A. BASSIk (MSHC PARTNERS) ChAPTER 2 - VOTERS ONLINE – WhO ARE ThEy, AND WhAT DO ThEy LOOK LIKE? ...................... 13 kAREN A.B. JAGODA (E-VOTER INSTITUTE) POLITICAL CORNER: MINDY FINN ChAPTER 3 - REAChING VOTERS ONLINE kAREN A.B. JAGODA (E-VOTER INSTITUTE) AND TONY WINDERS (VALUECLICk MEDIA) ...................................25 POLITICAL CORNER: ROB SHEPARDSON Section II – Developing an Online Marketing Strategy ChAPTER 4 - SEARCh ENGINE mARKETING (SEm) ....................................................................... 33 ERIC FRENCHMAN (CONNELL DONATELLI INC.) POLITICAL CORNER: RICHARD kOSINSkI ChAPTER 5 - ONLINE DISPLAy ADVERTISING .............................................................................. 39 JAY FRIEDMAN (GOODWAY 2.0), RENA SHAPIRO (GOOGLE), TONY WINDERS (VALUECLICk MEDIA) POLITICAL CORNER: PHIL NOBLE ChAPTER 6 – ONLINE LEAD GENERATION/SuPPORTER RECRuITmENT ........................................ 49 JOSH GRAY (VALUECLICk INC.) POLITICAL CORNER: EVAN TRACEY GLOSSARy OF TERmS .................................................................................................................... 55 ENDNOTES ..................................................................................................................................... 59 AuThORS ....................................................................................................................................... 59 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE
  7. 7. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET PAGE VI BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |
  8. 8. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET Executive Summary This publication looks at paid online advertising, using an advertising server to deliver and from search engine marketing to display advertising, track advertising performance, candidates and is designed to help political organizations under- can find out everything from the reach and stand online advertising and better leverage their re- frequency of their advertising efforts to the sources to reach voters online. number of individuals who interacted with an ad without clicking-through. Ad serving The authors of each chapter used their experience, provides unparalleled control over ads once expertise and analysis to compile resources and a set of they’re live and gives you the power to eas- best practices for each discipline within online advertis- ily evaluate the effectiveness of online ad- ing. This includes: vertising efforts. • Think beyond the gimmicks. Campaigns using the Changed media have a tendency to use the Internet exclu- Environment sively to launch humorous and “gimmicky” advertising efforts. In addition to fun on- line stunts, candidates should use the web While still a nascent industry, online political mar- to extend the reach and impact of offline keting is maturing, and current research suggests several advertising efforts through standard ban- important best practices to consider as your campaign ner, blog and search engine marketing. develops its Internet strategy. • Start small. The Internet can be an intimi- dating medium for online advertising nov- • Plan ahead. Whereas the standard 30-sec- ices. Start small by placing advertisements ond spot reigns on television, the web is on search engines and blogs to reach early- full of dozens of different advertising for- deciders, political influentials and informa- mats and targeting capabilities. Campaigns tion-seekers. Budget allowing, slowly ex- should give themselves at least three weeks pand to targeted banner advertising as you to plan their first online advertising cam- learn what works and what does not. paign. • Think outside the vacuum. The web is most • Budget accordingly. The Internet is an ex- effective when used in tandem with tra- tremely cost-effective medium when com- ditional media efforts. Advertising cam- pared with its traditional counterparts. This paigns on the Internet should coincide with does not mean, however, that the Internet is offline advertising campaigns, large-scale cheap. Campaigns spending $1,000,000 in offline events (e.g., debates, announcement traditional advertising should be willing to speeches, endorsements) or both. invest $100,000 in online media to maintain • Conduct media planning and creative de- the industry-standard online media mix. velopment. No matter how easy it is to buy • Use ad servers to track performance. By BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 1 |
  9. 9. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET and create an ad online, there is no substi- • Voters engage in a wide variety of activi- tute for professional online marketing help. ties online and their behavior changes over Even the simplest search engine marketing time. They shop, they exchange online mes- and blog advertising campaigns will per- sages, and they check the weather. Figuring form better when created and managed by out where the voters are going is indispens- seasoned pros. Online advertising should able to a strategy to get their attention on- be entrusted to individuals with both mar- line. keting and technical know-how. If you do, however, decide to design ads on your own, Search Engine marketing remember that short and simple messages perform best. Search engine marketing involves paid advertis- • Set realistic goals. The Internet has revolu- ing and organic (non-paid) search engine optimization tionized the way in which candidates raise (SEO) on sites such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN and Ask. money. Hundreds of millions of dollars com. Best practices for search engine marketing in- have been amassed through simple email clude: appeals to a candidate’s most ardent sup- porters. And millions of supporters have made unsolicited donations. That said, for • Advertise on Google, Yahoo! and MSN. most, online advertising is – and always They reach the vast majority of search en- will be – a very inefficient and ineffective gine users (who tend to be extremely loyal fundraising medium. As such, online ads to their search sites). should not be judged on pure return-on- • Buy keywords for competitors’ names – investment or email-acquisition standards. not because your campaign believes in the • Revise terms and conditions. Most online power of your political opponent’s name or publishers do not include immediate can- is trying to steal an opponent’s traffic, but cellation clauses in their standard advertis- because multiple campaigns might have a ing contracts. Be sure to amend advertising product that meets people’s search needs. contracts to include such safety measures • Advertise on keywords for your own candi- so that an ad campaign can be ended if date’s name. the candidate decides to leave the race or • Advertise on issues as well as on the candi- change his or her advertising strategy. date’s name + issues. • Always use post-click conversion track- Reaching Voters Online ing codes to measure true cost per sale or cost per donation – don’t just rely on cost As the Internet and new media have become more per click numbers that don’t reflect the ef- ubiquitous; voter attitudes, expectations and behaviors fectiveness of search in terms of achieving are changing. Reaching voters in this new environment specified campaign goals. requires a change of tactics. Specifically: • Create quality landing pages with compel- ling reasons to take action. • Old rules for communicating with voters do not always apply online. Direct mail pieces Online Display Advertising flooding the mailbox and robo-calls may be seen as acceptable. However, sending unso- Display advertising includes static, Flash or video licited email appeals will backfire (the same banners in varying sizes and formats, the standards for goes for transmitting any mobile commu- which are governed by the Interactive Advertising Bu- nications that have not been requested by reau (www.iab.net). In order to make the most of an on- the recipient). line display advertising campaign, our authors suggest • Voters are looking for authenticity and that political organizations: truthfulness in political leaders. Messages and stories must resonate. The electorate is tired of spin and packaged messages – on- • Use display advertising in concert with line and offline. other components of an online plan and the rest of an integrated media mix. • People talk. Voters enjoy discussing politics with colleagues, family and friends and find • Learn the metrics of online advertising ef- it important to connect with others who fectiveness and start testing in small incre- share their political beliefs. Accordingly, it ments. should be made easy to share information • Develop compelling and creative online ad- about candidates and causes. PAGE 2 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |
  10. 10. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET vertising that inspires prospective donors and voters to respond. • Work with established and experienced individuals, organizations and publishers who understand the complexity of online advertising and the sensitivity of political communications. Lead Generation Online lead generation uses online forms to gather information about consumers, or, in this case, support- ers. Organizations can purchase information about vot- ers who have stated an interest in a candidate or issue and use this information to generate direct mail, email and phone lists. Political organizations interested in us- ing online lead generation for supporter recruitment should: • Communicate their marketing objectives to their lead generation vendor. • Define objective performance criteria that will be used to measure whether their mar- keting objectives are being met. • Consult with a lead generation vendor re- garding the real time monitoring and mea- surement of their lead generation campaign performance. • Provide timely feedback to their lead gen- eration vendor on marketing initiative per- formance. • Make modifications to the campaign as needed to enhance performance. • Leverage expertise and assets of top lead generation vendors to effectively build and manage a successful marketing initiative. • Have a privacy policy and terms and con- ditions that adequately disclose to consum- ers how their data is collected, used and shared. • Make sure that lead data capture, storage and transfer is done in a secure environ- ment to ensure data integrity, and is in compliance with applicable laws and regu- lations. BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 3 |
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  12. 12. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET Introduction By JuLIE BARKO GERmANy INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET This publication begins with a discussion about a quarter (24 percent) of Americans learns something money and ends in a chapter-by-chapter conversation about the presidential campaigns online, and the Inter- about how political campaigns can save more of it. net has become the leading source of information about presidential campaigns for young people.2 Politics is in the process of becoming big business, and the business of politics (winning elections) has never been more costly. Some experts predict that more than WhERE ThE PuBLIC LEARNS ABOuT ThE $2.7 billion will be spent on political ads during the 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAmPAIGNS election season.1 This is a conservative estimate. The cost of running a presidential campaign appears to double REGuLARLy LEARN SOmEThING FROm . . . 2008 every four years. In the spring of 2007, several staffers Local television news 40 of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet gathered to speculate precisely how much money would Cable news networks 38 be spent during the general election season on behalf of Nightly network news 32 the candidates, parties and political organizations. At the time, we estimated as much as $10 billion would be Daily newspaper 31 raised and spent on the election. Internet 24 What if there is another way? A way to supplement Television news magazines 22 to mainstream political marketing – a way to reach vot- ers more efficiently and effectively, allowing presidential Morning television shows 22 campaigns to spend less money, reach people with ex- National Public Radio 18 traordinarily targeted precision, and measure success Talk radio 16 and failure in real time. The authors of this publication argue just that. Cable political talk 15 Within the pages of this report, they present case stud- ies, best practices and lessons to help the political com- munity transition from the broadcast model of the past As media habits change, and as technology and the fifty years to the digital model of the future. This new ways in which American voters use technology evolve, approach is paid online political advertising. politics must evolve with it or face fading into irrelevan- cy. Phil Noble, founder of the PoliticsOnline organiza- One of the major expenses campaigns face is the tion, is considered an early pioneer in online politics. He purchase of advertising time through broadcast media. is fond of saying that when it comes to using the Internet “If you want to reach voters,” the argument for the past in politics, “we are still in the morning of the first day of several decades has gone, “use television.” While televi- the revolution.” The political world’s use of the Internet sion remains a popular medium, it is no longer the only is still evolving. So, for that matter, is the average Ameri- way to reach voters. According to new research from can voter’s use of this tool. the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, the Internet is becoming a major source of information for The authors of this publication provide an overview American voters about presidential campaigns. Nearly and blueprint to assist political and advocacy campaigns BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 5 |
  13. 13. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET for the next few election cycles. Corporations and big business have already taken the first step, turning to on- line advertising to reach consumers in a highly targeted, easily measureable manner. Politics, we suspect, is not far behind. Further, as many of the following chapters argue, the benefits – from cost to the ability to carefully target and measure results – have enormous potential. A note about the authors and the funding for this project Many of the authors for this publication work in the fields of online advertising and online political consult- ing. Almost all of them have clients who pay them to de- sign and execute online strategy or place online ads on Web sites. We asked each of our authors to participate in this project because of the specific knowledge and expe- rience that each possesses. This publication is designed to explain and illustrate some of the principles and best practices of paid online political advertising. It is intended to inform, not to per- suade, and certainly not to sell the services of one of our authors. PAGE 6 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |
  14. 14. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET SECTION 1 meeting Political Objectives in a New media Environment BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 7 |
  15. 15. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET PAGE 8 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |
  16. 16. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET chapter 1 Key Emerging Trends in Political and Advocacy Communications By mIChAEL A. BASSIK MSHC PARTNERS Several major trends are emerging from the new me- much has changed since our fist-pounding activities be- dia landscape. This chapter looks at some of those trends gan. “Don’t get me wrong,” noted David Plouffe, Barack and offers suggestions for how political organizations Obama’s campaign manager. “The Internet is a powerful can harness the Internet, including: organizing and fundraising tool, and it’s getting more and more important every day, but it’s still not the per- • Several election cycles of research and de- suasion and message tool that TV is.”6 velopment are defining success in political marketing online. The Internet is clearly changing the way in which candidates find and empower their most ardent support- • Successful online marketing campaigns be- ers, solicit small-dollar donations and generate earned gin with strategy and planning. media. But despite countless conferences, articles, stud- • Political marketing online can be used to ies and meetings in which the innumerable benefits of persuade voters. Internet marketing are espoused, the web has yet to gain • Presidential candidates are leading the way a foothold as a political advertising medium. in political advertising online. It’s no secret that the average political campaign is risk averse. Never the hotbed for groundbreaking re- search and development, campaigns are slow-moving Introduction entities – erected and demolished for a single, short- lived purpose. In this environment, the web’s relative Predictions of an online political marketing revolu- unscalability, incongruous pricing models and distinct tion have surfaced every year since the first campaign reporting metrics make it difficult for traditional media email was sent in 1992.4 Back then, we referred to the consultants to embrace, let alone understand. And with emergence of cyber-politics or e-politics as part of a seis- an incumbency factor of upwards of 90 percent among mic shift that would change the nature of how candidates members of Congress and state and local legislators, communicate with the electorate. “Television would there’s little or no reason to rock the boat. And not rock- soon be a thing of the past,” we pronounced – pound- ing the boat is exactly what we can expect. ing our fists harder and harder into the vast podiums at • Despite findings that 24 percent of Ameri- which we spoke.5 cans regularly learn about the candidates More than a decade later, we recognize that not BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 9 |
  17. 17. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET online and that 79 percent of adults – about get worse as DVR penetration grows from 178 million – go online each week, candi- 8% of homes [in 2005] to a projected 40% by dates will continue to ignore interactive 2009.” marketing in favor of increased television • Push versus Pull: More than ninety-five budgets. percent of adult Internet users use search • In a year in which commercial marketers engines to find information. In North are expected to devote approximately 10 America alone, the average Internet user percent of their advertising budgets to the conducts 77.4 searches per month. web, political candidates at all levels of the ballot will spend approximately one percent of their advertising budgets online. Case Study • Political campaigns will continue to evalu- ate the success of their online operations Despite John Kerry’s loss in the 2004 presi- by two metrics – return on investment and dential race, one of the untold stories of the past earned media generation – while continu- election cycle was the way in which his campaign ing to measure direct mail, phones, radio and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and television by their abilities to improve successfully used Internet advertising to sway candidate favorability, increase name rec- post-debate perceptions and analysis. ognition and persuade voters. After each of the three televised presidential debates, the Democratic National Committee Yet despite all the bleak predictions of small and launched a banner ad blitz that generated more non-existent online media budgets and counterintuitive than 130 million ad impressions and marked media planning choices, more candidates will experi- one of the most sophisticated attempts ever to ment with online political advertising in 2008 than in all influence post-debate opinions. The buy spanned previous election cycles combined. more than 50 web sites, including the homepages While the statistics may seem overwhelmingly nega- of Reuters.com, NYTimes.com, washingtonpost. tive, there is much to celebrate about the growth of the com, MSNBC.com, USAToday.com, Salon.com, online political advertising industry. Presidential candi- and Weather.com dates Barack Obama and John McCain continue to make The media declared Kerry the victor of the online advertising a central piece of their paid marketing debate and countless articles gave the “thinking efforts, the two national parties are already hiring sea- ahead award” to the Democratic Party for its in- soned online advertising experts to guide them through novative and effective use of the web. Fortunate- the 2008 election cycle and dozens of down-ballot candi- ly, the success of this campaign was not limited to dates are expected to adopt web marketing as an impor- anecdotal evidence. tant part of their election and re-election strategies. Dynamic Logic conducted an independent, third party ad effectiveness study on Yahoo! to measure the impact of the DNC’s post-debate ads The Changing media Landscape on the electorate. Of the more than 1,500 people polled after the final debate, 55 percent who saw While the political establishment has yet to recog- DNC post-debate ads thought that Kerry had nize the web’s advertising capabilities, they are begin- won the debate compared with 49 percent of ning to notice that something different is taking place those who were not exposed. in the mind of the voter, making the use of traditional In addition, 50 percent of those who saw the advertising media increasingly difficult. DNC banner ads associated the ad’s message with • The Power of Word of Mouth: “How can Kerry. When asked, “Did Kerry finish strong and we begin to understand why Mitt Romney ready to lead?” – the message in the ad – 50 per- outspent Mike Huckabee on television in cent of those exposed said yes compared with Iowa by 6 to 1, yet lost,” ask political consul- 42 percent of people in the non-exposed group. tants Mark Mellman and Michael Bloom- Among women, the numbers were more impres- field. “While 30-second spots will remain sive – 52 percent to 41 percent. a central means of persuasive communica- tion,” the authors continue, “we have to rec- ognize the power of individuals to influence Within this changing media landscape, previous one another.” myths and misconceptions about the Internet are being • The Rise of Consumer Control: Depend- replaced by realities – driven by research, trial and er- ing on who you ask, television viewers with ror and experiences using the Internet for commercial digital video recorders (DVRs) skip between marketing. 60% and 99% of ads, “a trend expected to PAGE 10 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |
  18. 18. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET First, the Internet is not a replacement to traditional Publishers should work together to fund and publicize media outlets. Rather, the web complements television, successes. radio, phones and direct mail and belongs in the overall media mix. To that point, online advertising is best used Conclusion in concert with offline media and events. Young voters who rely on technology to communi- Will 2008 be the year in which traditional political cate, learn and work have become an important bloc. consultants warm to the idea of online political adver- More than 20 million young voters turned out in 2004 tising? Probably not. But all signs point to a banner – an increase of 9 percent over 2000. Candidates in- year for online advertising this election cycle. National, terested in reaching out to this growing segment of the statewide and local candidates are beginning to see the electorate must embrace web marketing to do so effec- web as an ideal complement to their traditional market- tively and efficiently.4 ing efforts, and are slowly experimenting with ads on Third, the Internet is an extremely effective medium search engines, blogs and local newspaper Web sites. for persuading voters, increasing name recognition and And online publishers are eager to fund advertising ef- improving favorability. Those who say otherwise are ig- fectiveness studies to show skeptical consultants that the noring a decade of research to the contrary. web is an effective use of scarce advertising dollars. Finally, presidential candidates lead the way. The Risk-averse political campaigns are unlikely to break-through moment for online political advertising change overnight. But with continued research and edu- will come from a national campaign within the next two cation, it is just a matter of time before the political com- election cycles. However, more research is necessary to munity catches up with their commercial counterparts convince the online political establishment that online and makes the Web a staple of any modern day political advertising deserves its share of scarce media dollars. media buy. Best Practices number of individuals who interacted with an ad without clicking-through. Ad serv- ing provides unparalleled control over ads While still a nascent industry, the following once they’re live and gives you the power online political advertising best practices have to easily evaluate the effectiveness of online emerged since 1998 – when academics and practitioners advertising efforts. began studying the impact of political advertising on the electorate. 4. Think beyond the gimmicks. Campaigns have a tendency to use the Internet exclu- sively to launch humorous and “gimmicky” 1. Plan ahead. Whereas the standard 30-sec- advertising efforts. In addition to fun on- ond spot reigns on television, the web is full line stunts, candidates should use the web of dozens of different advertising formats to extend the reach and impact of offline and targeting capabilities. Campaigns advertising efforts through standard ban- should give themselves at least three weeks ner, blog and search engine marketing. to plan their first online advertising cam- 5. Start small. The Internet can be an intimi- paign. dating medium for online advertising nov- 2. Budget accordingly. The Internet is an ices. Start small by placing advertisements extremely cost-effective medium when on search engines and blogs to reach early- compared with its traditional counter- deciders, political influentials and infor- parts. This does not mean, however, that mation-seekers. Budget allowing, slowly the Internet is cheap. Campaigns spend- expand to targeted banner advertising as ing $1,000,000 in traditional advertising you learn what works and what does not. should be willing to invest between $50,000 6. Think outside the vacuum. The web is most and $100,000 in online media to maintain effective when used in tandem with tra- the industry-standard online media mix. ditional media efforts. Advertising cam- 3. Use ad servers to track performance. By paigns on the Internet should coincide with using an advertising server to deliver and offline advertising campaigns, large-scale track advertising performance, candidates offline events (e.g., debates, announcement can find out everything from the reach and speeches, endorsements) or both. frequency of their advertising efforts to the BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 11 |
  19. 19. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET 7. Conduct media planning and creative de- appeals to a candidate’s most ardent sup- velopment. No matter how easy it is to buy porters. And millions of supporters have and create an ad online, there is no substi- made unsolicited donations. That said, for tute for professional online marketing help. most, online advertising is – and always will Even the simplest search engine marketing be – a very inefficient and ineffective fund- and blog advertising campaigns will per- raising medium. As such, online ads should form better when created and managed by not be judged on pure return-on-investment seasoned pros. Online advertising should or email-acquisition standards. be entrusted to individuals with both mar- 9. Revise terms and conditions. Most online keting and technical know-how. If you do, publishers do not include immediate can- however, decide to design ads on your own, cellation clauses in their standard advertis- remember that short and simple messages ing contracts. Be sure to amend advertising perform best. contracts to include such safety measures 8. Set realistic goals. The Internet has revolu- so that an ad campaign can be ended if the tionized the way in which candidates raise candidate decides to leave the race or change money. Hundreds of millions of dollars his or her advertising strategy. have been amassed through simple email PAGE 12 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |
  20. 20. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET chapter 2 Voters Online – Who Are They and What Do They Look Like? By KAREN A.B. JAGODA E-VOTER INSTITUTE This chapter looks at two different groups of people: Why the continued resistance to integrating Internet voters who use the Internet and the political consultants communications tools into a winning campaign strate- and campaign staffers who are trying to reach them. It is gy? How can the Internet be used to persuade swing and not just about the online audience but why it matters to independent voters? These are just some of the questions candidates and causes and the best ways to communicate vexing the online community and political consultants with it. It is one thing to look for traditional voters who alike. merely use online tools and quite another to understand how the Internet has helped create a new kind of voter in a changing political campaign environment. Specifi- What are the political cally, this chapter looks at a number of trends in online consultants thinking? Why politics: do they continue to spend • The online audience is representative of all the majority of the campaign voters. budget on television ads, • The Internet has changed the way voters use direct mail and phone banks? media and make decisions. The rules about Why the continued resistance communicating with them are being re- to integrating Internet invented. communications tools into a • The power in campaigns is shifting from winning campaign strategy? candidates to voters. how can the Internet be used to persuade swing and In addition, this chapter will independent voters? These • Explore the population of online voters. are just some of the questions • Identify what is known about the online vexing the online community audience in general that is relevant to con- and political consultants alike. sultants looking to identify and persuade voters using web-based tools. Less than 100 years ago, it was so much easier to find likely voters. They were male, white and read the news- The General Environment paper. Today: • Voters of all ages and ethnic groups now What are political consultants thinking? Why do have a habit of using online tools to research they continue to spend the majority of the campaign candidates and causes, contribute money, budget on television ads, direct mail and phone banks? BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 13 |
  21. 21. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET research the competition, send messages to other sources for information and enter- candidates and forward messages to friends tainment. The majority of consumers surf and family. Voters’ media choices are in- the Internet while watching television.”8 creasing, their media habits are fragment- • The Web is now a routine media channel for ing and there is an increase in competition most demographic groups.9 for their time. • Just as they expect retailers to have online • People feel less associated with the tradi- stores, average voters expect a candidate to tional parties. The past few years have seen have a Web site. a rise in voters registering as Independents • The Internet has changed the way people or decline-to-states. Everyone is being over- interact with brands. What’s more, com- whelmed by political messages through mercial advertisers have embraced this mail, phone, television and cable. functionality. Instead of one-way commu- • The online audience has matured since nications appealing to a mass audience, the 1996 when Republican nominee Bob Dole Internet allows for targeting and user-based became the first presidential contender to interactivity. ask people to go to his Web site. Online • People who use the Internet expect to play denizens are now using computers with an active role and their passion often drives better graphics, bigger screens and high- their behavior. The Internet has fostered speed broadband and wireless connectivity peer-to peer communications and citizen capabilities, which result in snap access to journalists have changed the landscape the web. They have higher expectations for of the news cycle. Howard Dean and Ron rich media including video on Web sites, Paul both incorporated complete strangers and they are more digitally oriented: mobile into their campaigns and in doing so, made devices, TiVo, iPods are part of the way they news. get entertainment, news and information. • Voters want balanced coverage of political • Voters are more comfortable entering per- news. They enjoy learning about opposing sonal data and credit card information political viewpoints and may see negative online but at the same time are more con- online ads as educational in certain con- cerned about privacy. texts. They may also see these messages and • They are more familiar with email – the be turned off from a candidate. Of course, good and the bad – and are more connected part of the goal for a consultant could be to with their friends and family online. suppress voter turnout. • Money spent on traditional media does not • Consumers show an increasing interest in guarantee success for a candidate or cause. ratings and reviews. A study released in No- • The campaign is about the voter, not just vember 2007 conducted by comScore with the candidate. The Kelsey Group shows that nearly one out of every four Internet users reported using online reviews prior to paying for a service Key Characteristics of Online media delivered offline by restaurants, hotels, travel, legal, medical, automotive and home services. More than three quarters of these To understand the behavior of voters online, it is review users in nearly every category re- helpful to get a broader view of the way the Internet has ported that the review had a significant in- helped change how people consume media. A few points fluence on their purchase. Users noted that about voters and their use of the Internet are important reviews generated by fellow consumers had to keep in mind when planning an integrated media a greater influence than those generated by strategy: professionals.10 • The distinction between traditional and • Webcasts, online social media sites and new media will disappear.7 Web video are ways to develop relation- • Consumers of all media have shorter atten- ships with constituents that go beyond the tion spans and are more interested in get- meet-and-greet. Online users have become ting information when and how they want accustomed to downloading video and ac- it. According to “The User Revolution: The cessing information on their own sched- New Advertising Ecosystem and the Rise of ules. Piper Jaffray Internet Research also the Internet as a Mass Media,” produced by addresses the importance of video, calling Piper Jaffray Internet Research, “Multitask- it “the Killer App of the Web, supplement- ing and multi-channel use will be the norm ing or supplanting most other types of con- with consumers using an increasing num- tent.”11 ber of Web sites, television channels and PAGE 14 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |
  22. 22. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET • People who are online indicate a strong in- A general view of what consultants think about on- tention of voting and are very likely to seek line tools for reaching base and swing voters is helpful to out political information online.12 better understand how the Internet is being defined by political professionals: • People also actively filter content. “One un- fortunate by-product of media fragmenta- tion, combined with the spray-and-pray ap- FIG 2: REAChING BASE AND SWING VOTERS proach taken by some marketers,” says Nick ONLINE Nyman, CEO of Dynamic Logic, “is that consumers, needing ways to deal with this % CONSuLTANTS WhO ThINK INTERNET TOOLS ARE uSEFuL FOR advertising onslaught, have developed men- REAChING BASE AND SWING VOTERS tal and technical firewalls to help filter it all. SWING AND mEThOD LOyAL BASE INDEPENDENT Keeping that context in mind, the challenge for online advertisers is to understand what Candidate email newsletter 56 10 techniques are likely to penetrate these fire- Online fund raising 53 7 walls to engage consumers.”16 Webcasts 34 12 • Online usage is now on par with television viewership.17 Therefore, integration of ad- Blogs/ Podcasts 33 19 vertising across online and offline mediums Candidate Web site 32 14 helps reinforce a message. Offline media often drives voters to look for information Internet for GOTV 30 11 online. Email 24 13 Voter generated content 22 19 Voter Perspectives Social Networking Sites 21 20 Online Video 21 18 As reported in the E-Voter Institute’s 2007 research of voters,13 the most popular ways for candidates to cap- Online Ads 10 18 ture voters’ attention are: Paid Search 9 16 “Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear: FIG 1: VOTERS ON ThE BEST WAyS TO REACh Change is Accelerating in the Political Landscape,” ThEm E-Voter Institute 2007 Research Findings, September 2007, 14. mEThOD % RSPNDNTS Demographics and Behavior of the TV Ads 64 Online Audience Web site 53 Word of Mouth 48 What do we know about the online audience in gen- Direct mail 37 eral? How should their behavior be seen in order to best target messages using online tools? What can we learn Email 36 from consumer advertisers who have been pioneers in Newspaper ads 35 the use of online communications? Radio ads 35 Who is Online? Internet video sites 31 • eMarketer projects that 65.2 percent of the Online ads 30 U.S. population will use the Internet at least Blogs and Podcasts 29 once a month in 2007. This rate is projected to rise to 66.6 percent in 2008 and up to 70.6 Yard signs 29 percent by 2011.15 Social network sites 24 • eMarketer forecasts that 64.9 percent of all Webcasts 21 households are online and of those, 82.7 percent will have a broadband connection Phone 12 in 2007. By 2008, it is projected that 67.2 Text messaging 10 percent of all households will be online and that 89.4 percent of them will be broadband “Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear: Change is Accelerating in the Political households. 16 Landscape,” E-Voter Institute 2007 Research Findings, September 2007, 15. BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 15 |
  23. 23. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET Consultants Still hesitate to use the Internet Writing in the New York Times Magazine in December 2007, Matt Bai addressed one of the reasons why the political campaigning industry has been slow to adopt Internet marketing techniques: Perhaps only in Washington, where so few people have dominated so much for so long, is this trend (towards using the Internet) viewed as inherently negative. That’s because, for decades, presidential campaigns have been the exclusive province of a small bevy of ad makers and strategists who profited from the illusion that they, and only they, could foresee the electorate’s every reaction to everything.17 Internet ad spending lags behind all other U.S. advertising spending. It is estimated that U.S. adults consume 21 percent of their media from the Internet while only 7 percent of ad budgets are spent online. In the case of politi- cal budgets, the percent of dollars spent online is the reverse, according to Evan Tracey at TNS in the Wall Street Journal.18 A higher percent of political ad budgets are spent offline. What are the main concerns political strategists, media planners and communications experts have about the Internet? According to E-Voter Institute’s 2007 research, political strategy decision-makers think that: 1. The people they are looking for are not online. 2. Even if the people they are looking for are online, they are not able to target them with appropriate messages. 3. Not enough information is available about how to target people online (i.e., strategists do not know how to best use the Internet). 4. Clients are not asking about it and are hesitant to utilize it. 5. The Internet is not a medium that can be used to sufficiently reach others. 6. The Internet is not an emotional medium. 7. Using the Internet takes too much time However, very few consultants think the Internet is too expensive or a security risk. What are the real reasons consultants hesitate to embrace the Internet as part of their campaign strategies? The consultants know how to buy traditional media like television, radio, direct mail and phone, and understand how they will be paid for their efforts. Developing an effective online presence takes new skills beyond those required for a good television ad, phone script or direct mail piece. Why change what seems to work? Based on historical data, results from traditional media can be predicted. No candidate has used the Internet to win. Therefore, while interesting, Internet advertising is not seen as mandatory. Buying online media can be more time consuming and the effort may not be recognized as effective because not enough is spent to do a fair test. The ability of the Internet to allow niche targeting challenges the current definitions of definable groups of likely voters. The Internet almost makes it too easy to figure out where to send messages. Many consultants still hope to get through one more presidential cycle without having to learn about this new media. Their peers are still not using it and candidates may not ask for anything more than a Web site. While money is being raised using candidate’s Web sites and online appeals from emails, the powers that con- trol the campaign budgets are not spending that money online but rather tucking it into the television budget to buy more airtime to chase the trends of daily polls. The Golden Rule applies here: he who has the gold rules. As Christopher Drew reported in the New York Times, “And with more money than ever on the line this time around, resentment has been building at how, win or lose, presidential elections have become gold mines for the small and often swaggering band of media consultants who dominate modern campaigns.”19 • There are strong correlations between band while nearly that many in the subur- education and income in households with ban areas had fast access. Only 31 percent in broadband connectivity. The eMarketer rural areas were connected to the Internet results indicated that fewer than one-third by broadband.22 of Americans earning under $30,000 per • According to comScore Media Metrix, year had a broadband connection in 2007, adult women (18+) represent 51.3 percent compared with 76 percent of those earning of the online users and men 48.7 percent, $75,000 or more. In 2007, seven in ten col- roughly the same gender breakdown of the lege graduates had broadband connections, general population. It is estimated that 50 compared with 21 percent of Americans percent of men have broadband access at without a high school diploma. Slightly home compared with 44 percent of women. over half of those in urban areas had broad- PAGE 16 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |
  24. 24. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET • The demographic profile of U.S. Internet immigrants, the first and second-generation Hispanics users by age and race/ethnicity reveals fur- who are U.S. citizens and contribute money to candi- ther how much the Internet looks like the dates, talk to their friends about politics, and vote have general population. been generally neglected by candidates. In the 2008 elec- tion, there has been increasing awareness of the need to reach out to this diverse community. FIG 3: EThNIC mIx OF uS INTERNET uSERS By • Hispanic-Americans come from over two AGE dozen countries that have multiple official languages and dialects. Nearly two out of % OF RESPONDENTS IN EACh GROuP (2006) three Hispanics in America come from Mexico. Nine percent are from Central AGE WhITE BLACK hISPANIC America, eight percent from South Ameri- 18-29 86 77 67 ca, eight percent from Puerto Rico, five per- 30-41 85 77 61 cent from Cuba and six percent from other countries. 42-51 80 69 58 • The size and origin of the Hispanic-Ameri- 52-60 75 49 46 can population differ widely by state. 61-70 55 31 27 • According to the Pew Hispanic Center, 61 percent of Hispanic adults were not born in 71+ 27 7 17 the U.S. while 23 percent are second-gener- “Hispanic Americans Online: A Fragmented ation and 16 percent are third-generation. Population,” eMarketer, November 2007, 12. By 2010 Hispanic-Americans are projected to be 37.9 percent first-generation, 32.3 per- cent second- generation and more than 29.8 FIG 4: uS INTERNET uSERS By RACE/EThNICITy percent third-generation. AS % OF TOTAL INTERNET uSERS Degrees of acculturation among the population dif- fer from 50 percent who are Spanish-oriented (more flu- RACE/EThNICITy 2007 2008 ent in Spanish than English) to 26 percent who are bi- cultural (fluent in both languages) to 24 percent who are White (non-Hispanic) 73.3 72.4 relatively assimilated (much more fluent in English). African American 11.0 11.2 eMarketer notes that until 2006, Pew did not con- Hispanic 10.0 10.4 duct telephone surveys in Spanish thus leaving out peo- ple who could not speak English well enough to answer Asian 5.8 6.0 the questions. Use of random digit phone surveys also “Hispanic Americans Online: A Fragmented leaves out many Hispanics who have only mobile phones Population,” eMarketer, November 2007, 9. but not landlines. Since 34 percent of Hispanic Ameri- cans are under 18, compared to 25 percent of the total US population, a clearer view of the next generation of According to the March 2007 Pew survey “Latinos Hispanic voters needs to be articulated. Online,”23 According to E-Voter Institute’s 2007 findings, 18 • 71 percent of non-Hispanic whites are online. Internet tools are not seen as effective by most consul- • 60 percent of African-Americans are online. tants for reaching and persuading Latino/Hispanic vot- • 56 percent of Hispanics are online. ers. Four of the five methods chosen most often by con- sultants as “effective” are offline, traditional campaign tools. Word of mouth is the most noted method, with (73 But when we look at college graduates percent) of consultants choosing it, followed by televi- • 91 percent of non-Hispanic whites are online. sion or cable ads (69 percent), candidate events (63 per- • 93 percent of African-Americans are online. cent) and radio ads (60 percent). • 89 percent of Hispanics are online. Online approaches are among the least popular choices suggested by consultants for reaching out to this community, with only candidate Web sites (36 percent) The presidential campaign of 2008 will further re- among the top ten methods chosen. Besides candidate veal the role gender and ethnic identity play in how vot- Web sites, the other methods ranked as follows: email ers make decisions. (31 percent), online ads (23 percent), online video (23 percent), social networking sites (23 percent), blogs and podcasts (14 percent) and webcasts (13 percent). hispanics What do consultants think are the most effective Who are Hispanic-Americans, and how can can- methods for reaching Latinos and Hispanics? didates reach them? While many focus solely on illegal BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE PAGE 17 |
  25. 25. INSTITUTE FOR POLITICS, DEMOCRACY & THE INTERNET By linking behavior to search, EMILY’s List (the na- FIG 5: REAChING hISPANICS VOTERS tion’s largest political action committee) has tried some % OF new techniques to find women voters using the Google ACTIVITy TO REACh LATINOS/hISPANICS CONSuLTANTS search engine. According to a Los Angeles Times article Word of Mouth 73 by Tom Hamburger and Dan Morain in late December 2007, “Whenever someone in Iowa searches online for TV/Cable Ads 69 ‘recipe,’ ‘stocking stuffer,’ or ‘yoga’ for instance, a banner Events with Candidate 63 will pop up inviting the searcher to visit a Web site sup- porting Clinton.” Hamburger and Morain’s article sug- Radio Ads 60 gests that EMILY’s List targeted a common reason why Direct Mail 56 women might not attend caucus sessions: they are busy with family obligations, such as cooking dinner. To help Yard Signs/Billboards 47 with the problem, the site offered easy to make “caucus- Phone 44 night recipes.”25 Candidate Website 36 Search has become integrated into our everyday lives and multiple applications will continue to evolve. Newspaper Ads 34 Searching for maps, video, audio and text will become Debates 33 even more powerful tools for voters online to compare Email 31 and contrast alternative options. Online Ads 23 Online Video 23 What Adults Are Doing Online Social Networking Sites 23 • Research conducted by Harris Group for Deloitte & Touche and provided to eMar- Text Messaging 17 keter offers insight into the weekly habits of Blogs and Podcasts 14 U.S. Internet users and shows some inter- esting similarities between age groups: Webcasts 13 “Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear: Change is Accelerating in the Political Landscape,” FIG 6: WEEKLy hABITS OF uS INTERNET uSERS E-Voter Institute 2007 Research Findings, September 2007, 18. GEN x BOOmERS mATuRES ACTIVITy 25-41 42-60 61-75 Use search engines or 93 91 90 portals Search Read about local news, The Pew Internet and American Life Project said in weather, or current 88 87 86 December 2007 that 47 percent of U.S. adult Internet us- events ers surveyed last year had looked for information about Read national/world themselves through Google or another search engine. news, weather or current 82 81 88 Pew also found that 53 percent of adult Internet users events admitted to looking up information about someone else, Purchase products 78 77 79 celebrities excluded. With an average of 44 searches per user per month in the United States, Google has seen Seek product reviews, conduct, shopping 74 73 70 a 50 percent increase in the number of searches in just research two years with nearly 100 billion Google searches in the United States in 2007.24 Read entertainment and 69 58 46 celebrity news Search for local candidates is growing. Some ana- lysts estimate that local searches make up half of all on- Read sports news/ 54 56 57 information line searches.20 While presidential cycles typically draw an incredible amount of attention, many more candi- Deloitte & Touche, “State of the Media Democracy” dates run for state and local office. These races have very conducted by Harris Group, provided to eMarketer locally-based audiences who may have limited access to August 2007, 7. information about lesser known candidates. Voters do not generally feel they are getting enough information • The YouTube audience is massive with hun- from political leaders in their speeches and so they are dreds of millions of worldwide video views using search engines to find out political information. daily. According to Nielson/NetRatings in They are also taking the time to learn about opposing July 2007, the audience was estimated as political views in a way that is less public than attending evenly spread across all ranges: a rally or fundraiser. PAGE 18 BEST PRACTICES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING ONLINE |

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