@willcritchlow All examples are made up unless explicitly linked to real events. None of the real examples in this presentation have opposing politicians behind them (as far as I know!). I’ve chosen to demonstrate examples from the perspective of the right attacking the left, but all examples could work in either direction.
@willcritchlowChoose demographic targeting to avoidyour own supporters
@willcritchlow Why it works Attack ads are often designed to reduce opposition turnout rather than make people vote differently. The biggest risk is the negative backlash of “going negative”.
@willcritchlow In some cases, it’s possible (by avoiding journalists and very political people in the targeting) for the opposition campaign not even to notice the campaign.
@willcritchlow How campaigns defend against it Use “honeypot” social media accounts with a variety of personas in order to see a wide range of marketing Can also be worth social media monitoring to find people discussing ads you never saw
@willcritchlowStep 1: create a site designed to beshared by your opponents I’m not claiming this particular article (http://dis.tl/IunQJX) is involved in anything like this
@willcritchlowStep 2: add re-targeting pixel Visit recorded with a cookie on the user’s machine
@willcritchlowStep 3: run attack ads that are seen onlyby opponents Your advert goes here, only for the visitors who saw your linkbait.
@willcritchlow Why it works To the target, it looks like their chosen publications are running attack ads against their candidate
@willcritchlow They can be made to appear everywhere for the target audience
@willcritchlow At the same time, they’re never seen by your own supporters
@willcritchlow And they can even be made to look like editorial if you wish
@willcritchlowNews websites have unsold inventory and don’t monitorthe ads placed on their site Print newspaper advertising revenue adjusted for inflation (http://dis.tl/Jb5q2M)
@willcritchlow How campaigns defend against it Monitor social media to hear about ads you never saw Source screenshots, details of platform Shut down campaigns through the platform and / or host website
@willcritchlow What it is: Getting negative stories to stick on Wikipedia long enough to make it into mainstream press, at which point Wikipedia is updated with the mainstream press reference making it hard to rebut. See also: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/a-reputation-20-problem
@willcritchlowWhy it worksJournalists often trustWikipedia but don’t cite it(because they know theyshouldn’t trust it)Famous example:http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2009/05/wikipedia-hoax-reveals-limits-of-journalists-research.ars
@willcritchlow How campaigns defend against it Fast responses to defacement of Wikipedia Obtain rapid corrections from journalists and get them to update their original story so it can’t be used as a Wikipedia reference.
@willcritchlow What it is: Creating websites designed to rank for opposition candidates’ names or policies
@willcritchlowWe know this can be dangerous Not suggesting Santorum’s issues were caused by an attack by opponents. Image source: http://dis.tl/I2pdO4
@willcritchlow Why it works People trust Google Done cleverly, it’s plausibly deniable
@willcritchlow How campaigns defend against it Pre-emptively creating a strong online reputation with a variety of your own sites ranking for the candidate’s name Close monitoring of the web and search results Crisis management
@willcritchlowAttack ads are nothing newhttp://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/political-ad-ailes-trippi-murphy-snyder-pick/232576/
@willcritchlowBut the web is changing politics Faster than many realise. I encourage anyone with an interest in politics or the web to read this story: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/134/boy-wonder.html This particular article is from 2009, but I think we’ll see even more eye-popping things in the next few years.
@willcritchlowWill CritchlowFounder – Distilled firstname.lastname@example.org @willcritchlowWill co-founded Distilled in 2005.Although most of his work has been in online marketing, he’sseen plenty of reputation management issues and spentenough time with political operatives to get the inside scoop.Everything in this presentation is illustrative and none of theideas here are intended to represent specific campaigns.Will doesn’t recommend playing dirty political tricks.
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