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November 13, 2012

Obama's TV Ad Campaign Targeted Low-Information, Unlikelier Voters In Cable Reruns

They say this helped "at the margins." As Obama won at the margins-- just barely won by two points -- this may have been critical.

Among the several things I'm not sure about is this: Did we get beaten at a strategic level, or merely the tactical? Do we have to completely change our principles and policies, or merely get our acts together with data mining, micro-targeting, and

It was called “the Optimizer,” and, strategists for President Obama say it is how he beat a better-financed Republican opposition in the advertising war.

Culling never-before-used data about viewing habits, and combining it with more personal information about the voters the campaign was trying to reach and persuade than was ever before available, the system allowed Mr. Obama’s team to direct advertising with a previously unheard-of level of efficiency, strategists from both sides agree.

“Future campaigns ignore the targeting strategy of the Obama campaign of 2012 at their peril,” said Ken Goldstein, the president of Kantar Media/CMAG, a media monitoring firm that tracked and analyzed political advertising for both campaigns. “This was an unprecedented marrying of detailed information on viewing habits and political predispositions.”

...

And in the days since the election new details are emerging about just how outmatched the Republicans were on the technology side, prompting a partywide re-examination of how to avoid a repeat and regain the once-fearsome tactical advantages they held in the era of President George W. Bush.

...

With so much more time to prepare, Mr. Obama’s polling and “analytics” department collected so much information about the electorate that it knew far more about which sorts of voters were going to turn out — and where — than the Romney campaign and most public pollsters.

And that carried over into their TV purchases. They shifted resources from the costliest sort of advertising (early prime, news) that reached high-information, very reliable voters, and instead targeted low-information, less reliable voters on Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon and TVLand, a cable network that just plays old reruns.

The article doesn't say this, but reading between the lines, the Obama campaign assumed that reliable voters would show up, and that high-information voters would make up their minds based on the large amount of non-TV-ad inputs they already had, and instead played largely for those who knew so little their minds could be changed by a few TV ads.



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posted by Ace at 03:02 PM

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