Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Data-Fueled Targeting Is Redefining TV Political Ads

Data-centric political ad targeting -- which transformed digital politicking -- began redefining TV ad campaigns in 2013. Traditionally, political campaigns buy TV spots based on ratings data, such as the demographics of the core viewers of a show. Now, by combining voter data with set-top box data, campaigns can better segment TV audience voters. Firms are sprouting up to serve the new age of voter-data-fueled TV, especially since TV buys take the lion's share of political ad budgets. A recent Ad Age article surveyed some in the forefront of TV targeting, including Rentrak, a firm that provides local and national TV data on 12 million households from its partners in cable, satellite and telecom, and which worked with the Obama for America campaign last year. Rentrak claims it actually did more political business in 2013 with just a handful of gubernatorial, mayoral and down-ballot races. Using an outside firm (Experian in 2013), Rentrak matched TV-subscriber data to voter-file data from the campaigns and their parties to produce anonymized audience segments that categorize voters according to interests, likelihood to vote and political leanings. An example of the new trend in TV ad buying: Democrat Terry McAuliffe's winning Virginia gubernatorial effort spent around 25% of its persuasion-ad budget (ads intended to sway voters rather than generate fundraising) on ads targeted via voter-file matching and purchased through exchanges and automated TV-buying platforms, as opposed to ads with traditional behavioral or demographic targeting. For more, see http://adage.com/article/news/data-redefining-political-tv-ads/245286/

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