AOL Launches 'Political' Campaign
Campaigning for political ad dollars, AOL on Thursday debuted an online destination for campaigns, advocacy groups, and companies interested in targeting constituencies online. The AOL Advertising Politics hub connects to Ad Desk for Politics and Display University, both of which were designed by AOL to educate and enable political marketers to more easily purchase display advertising.
For the push, AOL Advertising has expanded its Political and Issue Advocacy team to include seven dedicated team members focused on evangelizing the importance of display advertising in the political community. The team includes Rena Shapiro, who recently joined AOL from Google, where she created their political team in 2007.
"As more campaigns and issue advocacy groups begin to understand the power of the Web, AOL's original content and advertising technology puts us at the forefront of political online advertising," said Shapiro, director of political and issue advocacy accounts.
Through its Politics hub, AOL is promising to help political marketers determine how best to structure their online campaign, whether they are looking to use display advertising to help fund raise, build name recognition, organize their field operations, persuade voters, respond in real-time to negative press or competitive messaging, get out the vote, and educate voters about the issues relating to the race.
"AOL has positioned itself to be the go-to resource for political marketers needing to reach their constituencies," said Jeff Levick, president, AOL global advertising and strategy. "Our Politics hub lets campaigns and issue advocacy groups take their messages directly to voters and key influencers."
Earlier this year, a Supreme Court ruling lifted restrictions on political ad spending from corporations, so companies can now join campaign and issue advocacy groups in influencing voters online.
Meanwhile, the Presidential race of 2008 as well as the 2009 Scott Brown race in Massachusetts clearly showed the impact that spending online can have on a campaign's outcome.
Like any campaign, however, AOL faces its fair share of competition in the political sphere. The Washington Post, for instance, recently unveiled its answer to Politico. PostPolitics.com is led by Chris Cillizza, who writes the paper's The Fix blog, and aggregates political stories and blog posts from across the Post newsroom.
AOL's Ad Desk for Politics is a 'how-to' guide for political targeting in Ad Desk, AOL's display advertising platform. Its Display University, meanwhile, is a microsite to help marketers build their first campaigns and improve existing ones.