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Do-It-Yourself Campaign Ads - great idea from Chris Bowers

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greeneyedboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-12-08 02:33 PM
Original message
Do-It-Yourself Campaign Ads - great idea from Chris Bowers
Edited on Fri Sep-12-08 02:57 PM by greeneyedboy

Run Your Own Paid Media Campaign (Seriously)
by Chris Bowers

...Instead of feeling disempowered by narratives I can't do much to change and messaging that doesn't speak for me, now I have my own anti-McCain ads. The two ads will appear across the entire state of Pennsylvania, on about three-dozen different Google keyword searches for John McCain and Sarah Palin. . . .

It is my money, my message, my targeting. Based on the keywords and cost-per-click rate that I chose, Google estimated that my ads will result in 25 click-thrus a day, costing me a little under $10 a day. However, the ads will be viewed by exponentially more people and, because of the keywords I chose, only by people looking for information on the campaign. Further, as I learn what messages work and which ones don't, if I want to fit daily talking points or the latest scandal, I can easily change the ad. Also, I can change the locations where I am targeting on a moment's notice. You can do this too. In fact, you should do this too. . .

As part of the 2006 Googlebomb campaign, I did exactly this with BlogPac. For $475, using Google Ads like the one above ("George Allen Beat Me Up" was our favorite, and most successful ad), we had 3,000 click thrus, and over 800,000 search impressions, across fifty-two key House and Senate districts in the final two weeks of the election. Shockingly, for less than $500, we managed to have about 6% of the electorate in those fifty-two districts view our Google ads. Originally, I only ran the ads to monitor how many people would see our "Googlebombs" (it was actually an SEO campaign, not a Googlebomb) in those districts, but it quickly became obvious that the ads were themselves useful--not to mention cheap and easy!

For the amount of time it takes to write a diary about what sort of messaging Obama should be using, you can create you own advertisement. You don't even have to target the Presidential campaign: pick a favorite House candidate if it suits you more. You can spend whatever you want, with whatever message you want, and run the ads wherever you want. You don't need anyone's approval (except Google's), and you will only reach people who are looking for information on the campaign you decide to target. As I outlined above, people will see your ad. Further, beyond the people who will see your ad, imagine if 500, 1,000, or even 10,000 people take this action. Then, your 25 direct voter contacts, and hundred of indirect daily voter contacts, will turn into hundreds of thousands of customized swing state voter contacts every day. If it grows large enough, we can create a vast, effective, decentralized, essentially unstoppable advertising campaign using this method. It would be the equivalent of an online, grassroots 527. . .

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Crowdsourcing the Obama message

by Shai Sachs

This week, Chris Bowers at OpenLeft has been encouraging readers to run their own media campaign. The idea is very simple: at a fairly low budget, anyone can set up a simple Google ad campaign, targeted geographically and by keyword. Bowers has been running two ads - one against McCain, the other against Palin - in his native Pennsylvania, and thinks he can reach a lot of voters on a fairly low budget.

The commenters at OpenLeft have been ecstatic about the idea, and I think it is exceptionally clever. In addition to the first order effects - exposing anti-McCain messages to a lot of voters in swing states - the campaign could also have an indirect sway over the campaign's own messaging strategy, by demonstrating in a quantifiable way the messages that work (and receive a lot of click-throughs) and those that don't. I suppose that's a long shot with this campaign, but it's nevertheless a possibility.

In any case, I'd be interested to see if someone could take this idea to the next level, and make the decentralized media campaign idea a bit more social. For example, would it be possible to set up a website which allows people to set up all of the parameters for a Google Ad campaign - the keywords, the geographic target, and the message/link which appears - and then to aggregate all of those campaigns on the website in some interesting way? There are a lot of different ways to do this - e.g. breaking down ad campaigns by state, tag-clouding the chosen keywords, and showing aggregate click-through and impression statistics. This kind of aggregation could be augmented with comments (suggesting refinments and tweaks to existing campaigns) as well as team fundraising pages, allowing site visitors to support one campaign or another monetarily. It's also possible to maximize and quantify the impact of a campaign like this by targeting all of these ads at an action-oriented microsite, which takes a user through the steps of signing up for Obama's email list, giving a small donation to the campaign, signing up for, and so on. . . .
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slinkerwink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-12-08 02:42 PM
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1. It's sad when we have to pick up the slack for Obama's piss-poor media team
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greeneyedboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-12-08 02:48 PM
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2. I think this will complement their rope-a-dope strategy quite nicely. n/t
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