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AdAge has a very interesting article called Political Ad Spending Could Hit $1.6 Billion This Year and I keep wondering who forgot to hand me out a slice of the ad budget buy....


The article includes a streaming video of Evan Tracey from TNS Media Intelligence talking about the forecasted media spend for 2006 and beyond. The video itself is interesting because it gives an overview of what political spending means - political campaigns, presidential campaigns (they are different spend levels), issue advocacy, and political action groups.
Mr. Tracey basically says that through 2008, it is really all about broadcast TV, with cable and online fighting for scraps (my word there, not his). Doesn't this fly in the face of the e-Voter Institute Study: Moving to the Mainstream?
I have a copy of the entire study courtesy of being on a panel there, but let me summarize a few interesting points from it.
Campaigns know how important a Web site is for reaching voters, gathering emails, and taking donations. Most of them see value in blogs and building email lists for marketing.
However, when it comes to using online advertising to reach voters, it still lags far behind others. In fact, according to the study it ranks tied for 7th out of 11 on a survey list. The top 7 in order are TV, Events, Radio, Mail, Web site (top 5 are all over 80% effectiveness from the surveyed consultants group), email (69%) and then phone, online ads, and newspapers tied for 7th (58%).
Yuck. What gives? How can TV, Radio, and Mail be so high among political media consultants?
Experience with what works in the past and a lack of ability to experiment with new media outlets is what is driving it. I don't see what the stretch is to move the exact same offline ads into an online media buy that is cheaper, measurable, and definitely reaches an audience. You know something small like 5%-10% of the $1.6 billion budget.
That's what I wrote in three posts in August. Using a just stream it strategy, that reaches an audience that gets the majority of its news online, political campaigns can effectively extend their offline strategy. Streaming offline commercials online has to be better than running a radio ad that nobody listens to. Right?
Some of our Connell Donatelli clients are using this strategy today and with every online strategy we recommend, more and more include a just stream it strategy. I wonder how many political consultants, the so-called media experts, read the article and watched the video online? If they were media experts, a thought bubble should have popped in their head...something to the effect of...I wonder how many people actually watch videos online? Hmmm, maybe I should...
...but that's just a stretch for these experts, right?
PardonMyFrench,
Eric

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Frenchman is an online marketing and advertising consultant located in the Great State of New Jersey and Chief Internet Strategist for the online political agency Connell Donatelli Inc. Since 1998, Eric has managed multi-million dollar online advertising and CRM campaigns for AT&T, DLJdirect, Harrisdirect, and BMO Investorline and is a recognized expert in online marketing and advertising techniques. In 2005, Harrisdirect was ranked as the 17th largest online advertiser in the US and in 2003 was recognized as Best Financial Advertiser. Eric Frenchman's marketing blog is located here: http://www.ericfrenchman.com