Political Ads Hot Online But Candidates Ignore Opportunities
This latest AdRelevance Intelligence Report tracks and analyzes online election advertising by the Republican and Democratic political parties, general media and voter information websites, between July 2000 and October 2000.
While the majority of the Internet banner advertising by Democrats and Republicans that ran was conducted during party conventions, the Republicans also ran a small online campaign prior to and during the presidential debates in early October.
Although Republicans and Democrats logged in excess of 17 million ad impressions, non-party affiliated organizations ran campaigns totaling more than 100 million impressions, according to the report. The Republican Party ran two small online ad campaigns (July and October), while Democrats concentrated all banner impressions in one August campaign around their convention.
The two Republican Internet ad campaigns amounted to over one million more impressions than the single Democrat online campaign.
While the Democrats relied on one banner on one site (Yahoo!) for their entire online campaign, Republicans used over 20 unique banner ads to reach their audience on more than 35 sites. In this manner, the Republicans relied on a targeted campaign, whereas the Democrats experimented with a broad reach banner campaign.
Running 23 million election-related banner impressions each, CBS and Voter.com emerged as the top political online advertisers among non-party affiliated advertisers.
"Presidential elections may be the talk of the Net, but online advertising is not quite the talk of candidacy campaigns this election season," said Charlie Buchwalter, VP of media research for AdRelevance.
"It's important to note, however, that while candidates have virtually elected not to advertise online - news organizations and political sites aren't so weary. In fact... well-branded and well-known traditional media companies are carrying the lion's share of non-party affiliated political advertising."
An in-depth analysis of the messaging on Republican ad banners that AdRelevance collected reveals that the party is out to build a database of email addresses for future campaigning and encourage grassroots involvement through word of mouth. In fact, more than half of the banners request that a user enter an email address, whether the incentive is to win a Palm Digital Assistant or a trip to Washington, D.C. Other GOP banners feature Uncle Sam encouraging Party participation.
From traditional news networks to voter information sites, many companies are turning to Internet advertising to help build awareness for their election coverage. CBS, Fox, CNN and MSNBC embraced the