Sunday, November 15, 2009

READING: Best Practices for Political Advertising Online

A blueprint for online political advertising strategy, IPDI's publication "Best Practices for Political Advertising Online" gives a solid overview of recent changes in the media landscape and new trends emerging in reaching online audiences with advertising.

Charting changes in online behavior and increases in online activity, the publication effectively lays out the argument that political campaigns need to embrace the Internet as advertising platform to supplement conventional ad campaigns on broadcast media.

There is cultural pushback against the Internet however...

While research is showing more individuals are using the Internet to get information about political candidates, some political strategists still resist embracing the Internet.

Matt Bai explains their reluctance to embrace new ways of doing things:
"...for decades, presidential campaigns have been the exclusive province of a small bevy of ad makers and strategists who profited from the illusion that they, and only they, could foresee the electorate’s every reaction to everything."
There is a cultural inertia in the establishment for campaign strategists to follow the same formulas from previous campaigns:
"Conventional wisdom for campaign management is to run a textbook replica of the last campaign. If you lose it will be because of the candidate, not because you took a risk and lost. There is a slow-to-change philosophy engrained in the profession as a whole because nobody wants to be accused of doing anything that will cause the campaign harm."
As the Internet gains popularity and market share on people's attention, political campaigns will need to take it seriously as an advertising and organizing platform.

The fact that some of the more experienced, old-school strategists are resistant to embracing new technologies represents a great opportunity for political campaigns who are more nimble and open to Internet technologies to innovate with potentially less resources and take down slow moving Goliaths.

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