Tuesday, July 30, 2013

'Obamacare' Attacks Forecast to Pump TV Ad Dollars

Leading up to the midterm elections, TV stations are forecast to reap $500 million in political ads mainly devoted to attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or "Obamacare" as opponents dub it, reports Advertising Age. Per the Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), part of Kantar Media, ACA-related ads already have put $500 million in TV station pockets from 2009 to date, and another $500 million will be spent this year and early next year. The majority of the ad spending will be aimed at attacking the ACA. The $1 billion spent on a single issue breaks all previous records, and opponents of the ACA have outspent supporters by 5 to 1 in terms of TV ads, according to CMAG. Many anti-ACA ads won't be aimed at influencing Congress but at influencing voters in next year's midterm elections, with the PACs and GOP hoping to use the issue against Democrats, especially in the Senate where the GOP wants to regain control. See the full story at http://adage.com/article/campaign-trail/health-care-fight-generate-500m-advertising/243093/

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Obama's Former Data Team Sells Secret TV Formula

Now that some Obama campaign senior data whizzes have left politics to chase corporate cash cows with the newly formed Analytics Media Group (AMG) ad agency, they are pulling back the curtain on the campaign’s secret, technologically advanced formulas for reaching a target TV audience -- and political marketers will want take a closer look. Check out a recent New York Times article on AMG and the "secret sauce" that revolutionized television-ad buying, where over $400 million, or about 50% of the campaign’s budget, was spent. Previous campaigns made decisions on television-ad budgets based on hunches and deductions about what channels target voters were watching, partly based on broad viewership ratings of Nielsen and survey data, which typically led to buying relatively expensive ads during evening-news and prime-time viewing hours. The 2012 campaign combined its vast voter and social media data with advanced set-top-box monitoring technology to target voters, resulting in a smarter and cheaper — and potentially more invasive — way to beam commercials into homes. For more, see the New York Times article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/23/magazine/the-obama-campaigns-digital-masterminds-cash-in.html?pagewanted=all

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Political Cash Ups Allure of Swing-State TV Stations

The continued allure of TV political ads, especially in close races, is being underscored this year by a series of media company purchases of local TV stations in last year's contested election markets, reports The New York Times. Gannett paid $1.5 billion for 20 stations in June, and the Tribune Company agreed to pay $2.7 billion for 19 stations in July, according to the recent NYT article, which predicted even more consolidation in the TV market later this year. The buyer appeal of the stations lies in their election-related political ad revenues as the 30-second TV commercial remains a key campaign tool despite growing digital alternatives. To see the impact of swing-state status, the article cited WBNS in Columbus, Ohio, which garnered $50 million in ad revenue in 2012, including at least $20 million directly from campaign spending, putting it ahead of comparable markets in less contentious election states. In fact, Ohio stations enjoyed a 38% increase in 2012 ad revenues overall, largely thanks to political buys, the story notes. For some states, the TV ad bonanza goes beyond presidential politics to include state and local races. For example, California was the top market for all political ad revenue last year, in part because of ballot proposition spending. For more, see the NYT article at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/business/media/with-political-ad-profits-swing-state-tv-stations-are-hot-properties.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Those Fundraising E-mails May Annoy, But They Work

Annoying, alarmist, pestering political fundraising e-mails are here to stay -- because they work. That's the conclusion from extensive e-mail testing in the 2012 presidential election by Obama's Digital Director Teddy Goff and his team. Looking at more than 400 e-mails, Goff's testing showed conclusively that the more that went out, the more money came back. The growth in the number of unsubscribers was much slower than the growth of cash. In his new book on the 2012 Obama campaign, The Center Holds, journalist Jonathan Alter notes: "Goff concluded that ignoring the human desire not to be annoying may have been the single greatest conceptual breakthrough of the campaign. It turned out to be worth more than $100 million." For more excerpts from Alter's book about Obama's successful e-mail strategies, see the Wired story at http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/06/dont-dismiss-email-a-case-study-from-the-obama-campaign/

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Some Ways to Reach the Elusive Millenial Donor

Campaigns and causes are sometimes frustrated in their fundraising efforts to target the elusive Millenials, people born between 1980 and 2000. One reason is that they may be using the wrong marketing tactics and channels based on what worked well with previous generations. A recent article on npEngage.com by Emily Goodstein, herself a Millenial, provided some statistics that hint at how to find Millenial donors. First, note that 65% of Millennials prefer to learn about a nonprofit through its website and 55% prefer to learn about it through forms of social media. So you better have both an active website and an active presence on Facebook. Goodstein makes a second key point: Some 47% of Millennials prefer to support nonprofits with their time, while only 16% prefer to give exclusively through financial support. So develop an engagement strategy that goes beyond asking for financial contributions! Finally, Millennials prefer learning from peers, so it's time to investigate peer-to-peer fundraising tools. For more, go to http://www.npengage.com/fundraising/millennial-donors-please-stand/

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

In Online Giving, Some Cities Are More Generous

If you're looking to raise money for your campaign or cause, it's not only about who you ask but where they live. Blackbaud recently rated the most generous U.S. cities in terms of online charitable giving in 2012. The top four cities remained unchanged from the prior year. The top spot went to Seattle, WA, followed by Alexandria, VA; Washington., D.C.; and Minneapolis, MN. The Blackbaud analysis ranks 265 cities with populations of more than 100,000 based on per capita online giving. In 2012, more than $509 million was donated online in the 265 cities, 15% higher than in 2011. Regionally, the South dominated with nine out of the top 25 large cities, followed by the West (eight cities), Midwest (five cities) and Northeast (three cities). For more on the rankings, go to http://www.blackbaudnews.com/press-release/blackbaud-ranks-most-generous-online-u-s-cities-for-2012.htm