Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Political Ads coming to the TV Next-Door

This fall voters in Arkansas will undoubtedly be inundated with political ads thanks to a key Senate race and an open governor's seat. But they may also find that when they see a political ad on TV, their next-door neighbor doesn't. 
That's because almost half the homes in Arkansas subscribe to satellite TV rather than cable — and satellite TV providers DirecTV and Dish Network are now pitching political advertisers on ads that air only in households that match the campaign's target voters.
Call it direct mail for TV: First used by the Obama campaign in 2012, these "addressable" ads allow campaigns to target a list of voters and match them with Dish and DirecTV's 20 million subscribers. A third-party data-matching service is used so that satellite subscribers' identities are protected. Once the households are selected, the satellite provider sends the TV ads to the home's digital video recorder, and the ad airs as part of whatever programming the customer chooses.
This ad from the NextGen Climate Action Committee ran in
selected households during the 2013 race for Virginia governor
"I see this as being the new big thing in 2014,'' says Drew Brighton, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic firm which creates voter databases and is involved in addressable ads. "In past cycles it was the digital stuff with the cookies. Now we're not just figuring out which doors to knock on, we can figure out which households to send an ad to.'' 
Addressable ads offer a more sophisticated level of targeting than buying ads on particular TV shows based on the demographics of the audience. And they fit in with political strategists' newfound love of big data in the wake of the Obama campaign's successful use of statistical modeling of potential voters and targeting of messages.
Read the rest of the story HERE and view a related video below:

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