Political Affiliation Becomes Ad Targeting Data Point

Bryan-MelmedDemocrat and Republican character traits and preferences can provide brands with attributes to build audience segments. Research from Tribal Fusion, a digital advertising agency, demonstrates how data assists brands to better understand customers through their political affiliations.

Now, with the right data, political affiliations are more easily matched to other attributes.

When it comes to the arts and music, David Letterman and Keith Urban attract Republican voters, though Democrats tend to have a higher interest in music. Bryan Melmed, director of insights strategy at digital ad company Tribal Fusion, said that's because most are young professionals. "We're not trying to prove causation, but rather correlation," he said.

Melmed doesn't recommend advertisers directly target ads to one particular party over another, but attributes connected to political affiliations have become useful shortcuts to other characteristics that suggest receptiveness to specific products or categories.

The data suggests Republicans are receptive to home goods, for example. They show more interest in humidifiers, plumbing, garden fountains, and hot tubs. They also show higher interest in woodworking, tools, and other do-it-yourself topics.

Democrats spend more money on pets. They are more likely to buy cat toys. Most bird owners are Democrats. They also are more interested in baby showers, adoption and pregnancy topics.

The findings come from Tribal Fusion Insights. It encompasses contextual, behavioral and demographic data of more than 50,000 property topics and describes more than 80% of online population.

Tribal Fusion identified more than 35 million Democrats and 23 million Republicans on its network in August. The study revealed that 12,560 behaviors were statistically significant predictors of partisan outlook. Lift was calculated using a one-sided 90% confidence interval.

When it comes to technology, Democrats are twice as interested in data storage, but Republicans are twice as interested in data mining. Republicans are far more likely to buy car electronics or cars. Republicans prefer Olympus cameras. Democrats prefer Canon. Democrats heavily favor the phone carrier MetroPCS, whereas Republicans prefer Virgin Mobile.

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